Tuesday, June 15, 2010

Pedestrian Crosswalks

I work in a community that values their children.  It is apparent in the quality of education, and parental involvement, which I witness on a daily basis during the academic year, that children, and their lives, are considered important.  Perhaps this is why I am still pissed off about an experience which I  had last week while driving to work.  I went to work a bit late since I had an early morning doctor appointment.  Apparently, it was the time of the morning when elementary students are heading to school and, as I drove down Cherry Avenue, I noticed a child on the left side of the road waiting to cross the street on her bicycle. Waiting patiently at the painted crosswalk to cross the road.  Of course, I brought my car to a stop and waved her across the street.  Now, here's the part that infuriates me in  perhaps an irrational way - the 2 cars who were behind me beeped their horns!  And the woman immediately behind me did one of those waving-her-arms-around-in-the-air sort of things to indicate her displeasure for my observance of the law.  Incidentally, her vehicle was much taller than mine, there's no way she couldn't see why I was stopped in the road at the crosswalk.  I seriously have lost count of the number of times I have observed vehicles completely ignoring the pedestrian crosswalks in the Delmar area, including the crosswalk directly in front of the High School.  Actually, just this afternoon a parent drove  right past me as I, in the crosswalk, attempted to get to my car in the faculty parking lot.  I'm sorry, but when that kind of thing happens, I have an impulse to yell.  Which, of course, I did.

As part of the improvements being made to Delaware Avenue in the DelSo, I have noticed numerous new crosswalks.  We are fortunate to have a number of schools in our neighborhood which, of course, means there are children crossing streets frequently.  Couple this with the simple fact that the DelSo is an incredibly walkable residential area since we residents have dining, entertainment and leisure options easily accessed on foot. If you read the paper, people seem to die with frightening frequency while walking. How about, as you are driving slowly through the DelSo, due to the ongoing construction, you each try to familiarize yourselves with the locations of the new crosswalks? 

So often our community and schools are compared to suburban areas with our urban resources being perceived as inferior to those of our suburban counterparts.  It really wouldn't take much for the DelSo, and the rest of our fair city, to exceed the respect bestowed upon pedestrians in the 'burbs.    Do you want to live with the knowledge that you hit someone with your car?  Geez, I ran over a chipmunk once and had nightmares for days! How about if we all try to be a bit more conscious of the people with whom we share the roads?  When it comes to white lines, remember - the ones in the road are supposed to indicate safety.  Thank you.

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