03 April 2009

“Not a bear in sight. The Bear Patrol is working like a charm!”

I found this article today concerning the overwhelming number of pedestrian deaths in LA: http://www.citywatchla.com/content/view/2148/

I wish I could say I thought there was a solution, but as long as people rely so heavily on their cars to transport them from place to place, this is going to be a problem. I can't count the number of times on my hands that I have nearly been hit by cars while I'm in the middle of a crosswalk, and once I nearly struck a kid while I was in my car because he darted into the street unexpectedly - in a crosswalk. For that reason alone, I can't blame the drivers any more than the authorities can, but at least I wasn't eating a sandwich when I nearly hit the kid

Long story...somewhat shorter: Some woman once came so close to hitting me that she actually tapped my leg with her bumper while I was coming home from the supermarket, just a block away from my house - in the home stretch if you will. It wasn't until long after she'd sped away, screaming at me to go fuck myself that I realized how close I had come to being sprawled out in the intersection, a bloody mess, with the eggs I'd so carefully packed smashed all over the pavement. The woman who blamed me for being in the street while I had the walk signal? She had been eating a fucking sandwich when she shit her pants realizing there was someone in the crosswalk. I didn't even have an opportunity to respond, I just stood on the street corner, jaw slack, eyes wide, while it sunk in what had just happened. For all the care I had taken to look both ways twice, she probably wouldn't have been held accountable, anyway - it was a sandwich, but it could have just as easily been a cell phone or a noisy child in the backseat, or she could have been rummaging for a CD. It still would have been my fault for being in the street; just as much consolation to a dead pedestrian than an injured one. If that's not a WTF realization, I don't know what is.

Let's please keep in perspective that this is in Cambridge, of all places - one of America's most walkable cities, not that traffic cesspit we call Los Angeles. To make matters worse, they seem to have been channeling Homer Simpson to come up with a solution. FTA:
Meanwhile, traffic engineers argue for the removal of crosswalks in Los Angeles, pointing to a study performed several decades ago in San Diego that indicates that less traffic fatalities occur without a crosswalk than with a crosswalk.
“By your logic, I could claim that this rock keeps tigers away.”
“Hmm; how does it work?”
“It doesn’t work; it’s just a stupid rock!”
“... but I don’t see any tigers around, do you?”
“Lisa, I want to buy your rock...”

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