Pedestrians

 

Thank you for calling attention to the plight of pedestrians in our county.  However, you may have overlooked a few important considerations.  Though I may be guilty of an ad hominem argument, I shall speculate that neither traffic engineers nor police officers, who quote “mom’s rule” are very likely to be practicing pedestrians.  Otherwise, they would probably know that the amended mom’s rule for crossing the street is: “Look both ways, but at intersections look also behind you for the nitwit who thinks he has the inalienable privilege to turn right on red and who is probably looking left at oncoming traffic and not at the pedestrian s/he’s about to level and pulverize on his/her right.” 

 

Furthermore, a few minutes of casual observation at intersections will reveal quicker than you can say “traffic fatality” that (1) pedestrian lights are set to too short a time for any normally walking person to cross an intersection, that (2) waiting time for pedestrian lights to kick in is prohibitively long for any person with normal levels of patience and trust in technology, that (3) zebra stripes to indicate pedestrian crossings are not effective since a pedestrian’s setting a foot on them is merely a signal for drivers to accelerate so as to pass the obstruction before the pedestrian has half a chance and since--at intersections--drivers obviously regard these markers as stopping area for a better look at the right-on-red possibilities.

 

And that $1.4 million pedestrian walkway at Embry-Riddle?  You mean that really none of these escapees from a Dilbert cartoon noticed that students cross at the main entrance to get to the Fieldhouse and at the intersection of Richard Petty and Clyde Morris to get to the Air Way Sciences Building.  So, we build a walkway where no one has ever crossed before and wonder why none is ever crossing there???  

 

I suspect that, at the deepest and most archetypal level, the entire danger to pedestrians is a variation on our attitude toward poverty: If the lord had really loved you, he/she/it would really  have bought you that Mercedes Benz or whatever.  But you aren’t driving a car.  So, if god doesn’t love you, why should I, who am so loved, look out for you as I am driving mine. 

 

Maybe we can take our cues from European cities and install some camera equipment or some security personnel at crossings to help adjust that archetype just a wee bit by cracking down on those right-of-way-challenged folks in their assault vehicles?