Comment 6465

By R (anonymous) | Posted April 20, 2007 at 17:53:04

I work for the fire department and I think a big part of the problem is pedestrians not doing what they are suppose to do. I see it all the time where they cross in the wrong location or the wrong way, not very visible and the worst offenders are the one’s who think they are right and have the right of way when they don’t. I am amazed more are not killed. There are a lot more that are hit and are not reported in the media. They only report a fraction of the accidents in this city.

I the past 2 days, I have seen at least 4 people almost get hit by cars and they where all in the wrong place or doing it wrong. Two cases in point.

Yesterday on King Street at John, an elderly male with a cane and could hardly move very fast, started to cross King Street about 10 feet east of the crosswalks. He cut on an angle towards the Connaught Hotel very slowly. The traffic was stopped at the lights but he was moving so slowly that the light had changed and he was caught in the traffic. Most traffic started to go and he still had one lane to go. We moved up to him and stopped the traffic in the one lane he had left to go so he could cross. Who’s fault would have it been if he had been hit? His! There was no long distance between lights. The traffic in that area does move slowly and has been getting slowly over the years. For whatever reason he chose to cross wrong.

Today an elderly woman walked out into the street and only looked one-way. Luckily we where not moving very fast, the weather was nice and clear and she was dressed in a bright red. She broke two rules. She crossed in the middle of a block and did not look both ways.

I see pedestrians all the time not looking at the lights and just step off of the curbs. Downtown, if you want to make a turn and wait until the pedestrians have a “don’t walk” sign and the cross walks are clear, you will never make the turn. They walk outside of the crosswalks and cut across on angles and give you dirty looks if you even try to remind them of the right way to cross. Some intersection, they could remove the crosswalk light for all the people look at them. I know that if I try to stop across the crossways I can get charged. Heck in rush hour downtown where you can get trapped in a cross walks; you risk someone pounding on your vehicle.

I see people all the time crossing where they have nowhere to go. King Street at Gore Park (North side) has a fence. I see people all the time cross there and either try and hop the fence or walk on the road and then get mad at people who honk their horn at them. The other place is in front of the new building going in on King Street beside Denninger’s. The sidewalk is closed and fenced off! There are big signs saying it is closed! You can’t go there! But people still will cross just before it and walk on the road. Could they not walk 50 more feet and cross at the light? If they are going to Denninger’s they are only saving about 10 feet of walking distance.

The worst offenders are people, especially younger ones who think they always have the right of way. Watch, especially downtown, when you see an emergency vehicle driving with their lights and sirens on. You will see people with their fingers in their ears because the sirens and air horns are so loud. But you will get pedestrians who will not get out of your way and even worse walk right out in front of you and if they even look up at you they will give you the look of “I was here first and you can’t make me move. It is my god given right to be here”

I cannot drive on the sidewalk and have to follow the rules of the road. How come pedestrians can do what they want and have it someone else’s problem? I know car drivers are not all saints. To say that the pedestrians are always right and the car driver is wrong is absurd. There are a lot of responsible drivers who do nothing wrong and follow the rules. But I see more and more pedestrians not doing what they are suppose to do and blaming the “car and it’s driver”.

The police are right to try to get pedestrians to cross properly and wear the right clothing. Every who is out should dress properly including all of the joggers who where black and jog in the dark. Heck cars have evolved with more lighting and trucks and transports with more lights and reflective striping. And to say it is just Hamilton (bashing again) is very wrong. It happens everywhere. Just talk to the Police, Fire and EMS personnel everywhere and they will tell you the same story.

I think that some pedestrians need to get in a car, drive around and see what drivers are up against. To say that life in the city is and should be idyllic is wishful thinking. It never will be. Can it be better? Yes it can. Will it ever be perfect? No it will never be perfect. The car is here to stay. Technology will make it more efficient. The road where built for traveling on and no amount of public transit will change that. Both drivers and pedestrians have to do there part to make it better. Maybe pedestrians should be licensed to walk on the road and show they know how (just kidding…maybe).

I think that Ryan is wrong and this time the Police are right. His solution is again, spend tens of millions dollars of taxpayers money to solve a problem that should be taught by parents and in school and is just common sense. I see by the comment that most of the comments are by people who most likely do not drive and have no concept of tight schedules and having to get to places in a busy day. To say that get on a highway to try to maintain travelling times are by someone who does not have a clue of what goes on. Why do you think there are so many cars and people trying to get to places? It is because people need to get to where they work, play, shop and a host of other things they need to do. And do it where they want to do it and not the way someone thinks they should.

Wake up people. Just because you walk does not make you holier-than-thou and always right.

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