Tuesday, December 23, 2008

MSMIB commentary. Street safety.

Carriages in the Streets? No. Carnage in the Streets!

By the most sensitive man in Bexley, Simon Doer

I realize that I should have written this article in the spring, summer or fall, however, since several resident drivers have recently voiced concerns about the issue, there is no time like the present to address their concerns.

As I ruminated about the issue, winter is a fine time to address the issue as we again anticipate spring.

At issue is the frequency of pedestrians in the streets of Bexley. This does not appear to be an aberration. Joggers, walkers, skateboarders, inline skaters and yes, pedestrians pushing strollers and carriages in the streets. One can understand joggers, skateboarders and even inline skaters on the streets of Bexley as sidewalks are not always as level as the roadways. Those individuals accept the risk of their actions. Some of us may have even experienced the sidewalk jogger running across an intersection without them stopping as they assume the right of way.

But babies in carriages or strollers don’t have that choice (No, this is not a commentary on the issue of abortion)..

Having been amazed more than once by walkers and baby pushers assuming a full lane of travel on the roadway, I am reminded of the game of chicken on the east coast. Sadly the driver is the loser no matter what happens.

One driver mentioned that when a biker AT NIGHT and without lights turned in front of the vehicle the biker’s comment in reply to the driver’s question through an open window a to whether the biker was attempting to kill herself, the sarcastic reply was “Yes!”

Yes Bexley has a city ordinance 416.05 “Walking Along Highways.” It is written: “(a) Where a sidewalk is provided and its use is practicable, no pedestrian shall walk along and upon an adjacent roadway.” A catchall provision in ordinance 416.05 (d) provides that in any event pedestrians “shall yield the right of way to all vehicles upon the roadway.” And yes Bexley has an ordinance 416.07 requiring that vehicles yield to pedestrians on sidewalks (fair is fair).

Even bikers, who should have equal access to the streets not only in a green policy environment but as a matter of everyday courtesy, need to be a bit more aware of the street wise environment.

Just last evening at approximately 9 p.m. a biker dressed in gray clothing on a very dark night was riding approaching traffic on Parkview Drive in the right lane without a light (allegedly in violation of Bexley city ordinance 474.05). Fortunately my lights illuminated her and her bike so that I could move left to allow our opposing vehicles to pass without incident.

So, let’s all show a little more courtesy out there, drivers, riders, walkers, skateboarders, rollerbladers, walkers with strollers.

Put yourself in each others’ shoes or on each others wheels.

The life you save may not only be your own but those who love and are loved around you. What a tragedy otherwise.

That is this sensitive man’s opinion, what is yours?

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Design is copyright 2008. All rights reserved. Bexley Public Radio Foundation. Text is copyright 2008. All rights reserved. Bexley Public Radio Foundation. The styles "The Most Sensitive Man in Bexley" and "MSMIB" are the property of Bexley Public Radio Foundation.

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