To the Editor:
There is a lot in the Beacon about road safety. There's a lot to be said for planning. Remember when Diamond Hill residents got tired of speeding on their street? The street was redesigned with narrow breakdown-lanes on both sides. This has reduced speeding greatly. There are still some idiots who cause problems. A while back, a driver started passing me until he saw a school bus coming the other way. Luckily he jammed on the breaks.
We have a problem of people parking, facing the wrong way. This is dangerous on foggy nights especially when drivers approaching headlights (whether they are on or off) might make a quick jog to the right to avoid incoming traffic, and end up on someone’s' lawn or worse into a building or even off an embankment.
Why as Thursday’s Headline announces are there more accidents on the safest roads? I believe this happens because many drivers like to speed. The safe road encourages them in their foolhardy pastime, an example of driver error.
A few days earlier (July 19) there was discussion of colored lines in the pedestrian crosswalks. The city should not waste our money on special expensive green paint. It will do no good. Pedestrians should be attentive; look both ways, left, right then left again before entering the cross walk. Any cars too close to the intersection should be towed. The white lines indicating the crosswalk are easily seen by drivers who pay attention.
Years ago I was driving on a street when a 3-foot high boy ran out in front of me from between parked cars. I hit the brakes. The mother (she thanked me) walking the child gave him a scolding. I think the boy never did that again. If drivers watch, accidents are avoided. If mothers take care, accidents don't happen. Some people think the crosswalk makes walkers feel protected. If that's really true then eliminate marked crosswalks. Then pedestrians won't feel safe and they will be forced to pay attention. If anyone wants to try paint, try a few intersections with wide diagonal lines every 18in. or so. There is another protection for pedestrians. In poor visibility, they should wear reflective yellow clothing. Runners, police motorcyclists and highway workers already do this. Green paint will make a dramatic difference from an artistic point of view. It will do nothing for safety. This depends on the pedestrian and the driver keeping alert. The one solution that almost always works (nothing is perfect) is to install more pedestrian controls. Many intersections now have push buttons that change a green light for drivers to red. This is the best. Pick a few intersections and add the pedestrian push button control.