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Letters to the Editor

Safe travels

November 24, 2010

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To the editor:

Since it’s Thanksgiving week, I thought it only appropriate to express gratitude. I’m thankful for being alive. Monday evening, crossing Massachusetts at Seventh street when the pedestrian signal flashed, I walked into the crosswalk. A woman turning onto Massachusetts sped right toward me. Through her open window as she flew past, I pointed out that I was walking in a crosswalk. She yelled back that she knew what it was. Why then, I wondered, did she violate the rule about crosswalks? Why then did the man in the car behind her roll down his window and say, “Shut up and cross” as if I had no right to be frightened, angry even?

Where there is a posted crosswalk or when a pedestrian signal is lit, the pedestrian always has the right of way. Period. Experiences like these are a frequent reminder of how imperative it is that the City of Lawrence adopt a Complete Streets Policy. Everyone who travels under his or her own power — children, the disabled, the elderly, the able-bodied — has a right to safe travel.

Kelly Barth,

Lawrence

Comments

equalaccessprivacy 3 years, 4 months ago

The point of your letter is a good one and well-taken, but it's a frightening problem in Lawrence, even leading to aggressive profiling and inappropriate touching that people here tend to presumptuously define others in such neat, misleading categories like those you use here :

Experiences like these are a frequent reminder of how imperative it is that the City of Lawrence adopt a Complete Streets Policy. Everyone who travels under his or her own power — children, the disabled, the elderly, the able-bodied — has a right to safe travel.

Safe travel for me would first and foremost mean freedom from aggressive definitions such as the above and random people off the street learning to restrain themselves from approaching strangers on the basis of offensive stereotypes and even feeling free to spout their backwoods mouths off about these! Talk about terrorizing people.

Under the law everyone has a right to be treated the same-- and left alone instead of being bothered by aggressive, molesting strangers. Outmoded norms of southern-influenced manners that suggest otherwise need to go!

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mr_right_wing 3 years, 4 months ago

Were either one of those vehicles a pick-up? Or even more likely; a pick-up with the big jacked up wheels and lots of chrome??

The majority (I didn't say "all") pick-up truck drivers are very dangerous....and I've learned the size of the truck is directly linked to how much of a jerk is driving it

I think the prevailing pick-up truck driver mentality is: "Me drive big truck, you like tiny bug speck on front grill if don't get out of way!! Me run over you and not even think...at all, me rather hit you than deer!!"

'Sports car' drivers are much more safe...if they hit you, at the least it'll mess up their paint job, and probably result in the need for some body work.

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Romans832 3 years, 4 months ago

I must confess, one pedestrian is probably thanking her lucky stars after I almost clipped her Monday morning. It was not because I hate pedestrians or that I believed I was any more important than she was; she just was not in my visual line of sight. And that also wasn't her fault. (I was not on a cell phone, by the way.) I consider myself to be pretty observant, but missed it that time, and that incident has caused me to be even more aware of my surroundings.

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Phil Minkin 3 years, 4 months ago

I had a similar experience when stepping off the curb a car made a right turn forcing me to jump back. I yelled my displeasure saying it was a crosswalk and the passenger yelled back " Where do you think you are, California?" Unfortunately right of way can = dead wrong.

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Abdu Omar 3 years, 4 months ago

Absolutely, Kelly, you have that right, but there are those who have no concern for you or your rights. They only think of themselves. There are so many issues facing parents, but please, teach your children courtesy and how and why we obey the rules. This is what will improve our society as a whole.

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