Each day as I travel to and from work, I spend part of the time as a pedestrian walking through downtown. I have noticed there seems to be a lack of awareness on the part of many on the concept of pedestrian safety. In analyzing this thought, I realized there are three major components in pedestrian safety and each must do their part for it to work. Unfortunately, none seem to be doing what is expected of them. Let us break down the parts.
PEDESTRIANS: Fellow pedestrians, you need to realize that the City spends a lot of the taxpayers dollars trying to make your walk around town safe. They do this my installing pedestrian crossing signals and marked crosswalks. Apparently many of you are not aware of these devices as you seldom heed their message. Here is what is expected of you. If the pedestrian signal is
a steady orange or even a flashing orange icon of an upraised hand, this means Don’t Walk”. The signs used to say “Don’t Walk”, but apparently this message either wasn’t clear enough, or there were too many illiterates that all the signs were changed. At this point fellow pedestrian, you are to stand on the corner and wait for the light to change to a white icon of a walking person. You may then proceed to cross. The downside of failing to heed this advise is that bad things can happen to you, such as being struck by a car or truck or bus. All of which can’t be good.
MOTORIST: This croup of citizenry feel that are superior to us poor mutts who must use our feet to travel. As they sit in their warm vehicles, protected from the elements, they routinely ignore pedestrians crossing the street. I have literally had to run for my life on a few occasions because the motorist failed to yield my right of way. The worst is attempted to cross the street at a marked crosswalk. The law is this, pedestrians have the right to cross at a marked crosswalk. Motorist are required by law to stop and let the pedestrian cross. To put it in simple terms, if you see a pedestrian attempting to cross the street in a marked or signalized crosswalk, STOP THE VEHICLE and allow them to cross. And please, try real hard to not run over us pedestrians.
POLICE: The final component is this scenario are the Police. Sometimes they are pedestrians and sometimes they are motorist, but at all times they are the people charged with enforcing the laws they help keep pedestrian s safe. Sadly, I have seen many more instances when they broke these laws instead of enforcing them. This is how it works (trust me, I know about this stuff). If you stop a motorist for violating a pedestrian right of way, the impact on their wallet will cause them to stop and think twice the next time. If every officer on patrol, every day, would write one or two of these citations, eventually, the large number of motorists educated in this fashion would make traveling downtown on foot much safer. Please also issue one or two citations a day to pedestrians who fail to heed the pedestrian crossing signal, or do not cross at a crosswalk. When you have educated enough motorist and enough pedestrians we will a reap the benefits of a safer city. And as a bargain, you will probably catch a few crooks in the process.
That is all I have to say on the subject. I hope to see some flashing blue lights and some disgruntled (but wiser) motorists and pedestrians.
Those are my thoughts, what are yours?