Flag or Sledgehammer?
March 1, 2012 § 2 Comments
In some of my recent Facebook posts, I’ve vocalized my frustration with the lack of alertness SLC drivers have for pedestrians. It is very frustrating as a runner, and surprising, since most people I know who have moved to SLC comment on how many runners and cyclists there are here. One would think that in a city with so many outdoor fitness enthusiasts, this would not be a problem.
In a recent Facebook post I stated, “When waiting at a stop sign to turn, drivers should look left, right, and then left again. This is not only for your safety, but for pedestrians’ safety as well” (February 22). My comment on February 22 was not based on an isolated incident. I have almost been hit a handful of times (and most of the time it’s because the driver is on their cell phone), and Steve was actually brushed by a car recently.
Then, this past Saturday (February 25), we were running and came to an intersection where we were almost hit TWICE by TWO DIFFERENT cars. The main problems regarding pedestrians and cars involve turning. First, pedestrians are told to run on the left side of the road so they can see the traffic coming. This is a good idea, unless you are coming to an intersection where someone is turning right, and because they are turning right, they are only looking at traffic coming from the left. As a result, as you approach them on the right, they don’t see you. This is not good.Second, when the walk sign lights up for pedestrians, it is often at the same time as the green light for cars going the same direction (though not for the green lefthand turn light, thankfully). The cars turning do not pay any attention to the walk signs, and therefore almost hit pedestrians. I suggest an illuminated sign be up by the stoplights like the train signs are, flashing and signaling a pedestrian is crossing.
After my extreme frustration with the cars that almost hit us on Saturday, I decided I have two options: run with one of the orange flags they provide at crosswalks in SLC or run with a sledgehammer. I have decided on the flag for the following reasons:
2) Flags are more visible
3) I don’t want to get in trouble for causing damage to a car, although THEY would be causing a lot more damage if they HIT me, so I’m still not quite convinced by this argument.
So, if you see someone running around SLC vigorously waving an orange flag, you know who it is.