It would help if walkers did not dress like pavement.
The leap of faith a walker takes by crossing without watching all lanes of traffic stop first and without looking over their shoulder for the turning traffic makes today or tomorrow a good day to die.
If you wait to cross with your toes hanging over the curb, you're precisely why natural selection will choose you for death.
As for the bikers, they have it coming to them.
Far from disdain about the HAWK lights, I hold the pedestrians who refuse to USE the crossings in spite of their presence as being a BIG part of the problem. I stop when required at each red light and each HAWK light (listen to my wife..) and as I wait for the light to clear, watch countless cars blow through. Why? I suppose it was the pedestrian who hit the button and walked out into traffic before the HAWK light came on...it is frustrating to wait for a person to cross, when nobody is there. I wait until the flashing reds come on.. Others do not.
As for the "victims"...many, if not MOST of the pedestrian accidents in this area are self-inflicted. Quite often, one or another party is drunk. As others have noted, pull out the ear buds, put the smartphone away while dumbwalking, and try PAYING ATTENTION. On foot or on wheels!
For as often as I've seen a near-hit car vs. pedestrian/bicyclist accident in which the car's driver failed to yield or whatever, I've seen pedestrians jaywalking across major streets, sometimes just feet from an intersection crosswalk, texting without looking up when crossing streets, bicyclists disobeying traffic laws such as riding the bike in the crosswalk just as the light turns yellow or using the pedestrian walks to ride across the road.
One of the most disturbing stories I covered as a reporter was the death of a little boy who was killed dashing across Fort Lowell to get to the school bus stop with his brother. The boys were within their "rights" to cross where they did - while the intersection wasn't marked, it was an "implied crosswalk," the darkness of that morning and the fact that these boys had to cross a busy street at such a time made it almost inevitable that something would happen at some point.
Now, some Tucson streets are getting so that they are not designed for someone to cross it within one light. Pedestrians are supposed to wait on medians in the middle of the crossing. How many people are going to impatiently dash across those lanes, putting themselves at risk?
I often see adults, standing in the middle of a busy road like Grant, jaywalking, waiting for a chance to finish crossing the road instead of going to an intersection. And they have KIDS with them. Many drivers don't see the middle lane as a turn lane - they see it as a PASSING lane. How soon until a family gets mowed down that way? I'm surprised it hasn't happened yet.
I don't think a pedestrian test is practical, but perhaps the city should better inform drivers and pedestrians of their responsibilities and how to make the streets safer. What are other cities doing right that we are not?
Ronko, well said. Thinking back to yesterday morning when the news was reporting that the person killed by a train at Ruthrauff was wearing ear buds and looking at his cell phone. Very sad and needless loss of a life.
Simple things to consider from every side of the sandwich:
Bikers: Please wear helmets, reflective vests, lights, and obey the same traffic laws cars do.
Walkers: Please take out the ear buds when you are in an urban traffic ridden environment. Leave your phone in your pocket for 5 minutes out of your day. Walking and texting or doing otherwise on your precious device may cost you a trip in an ambulance.
Drivers: Please slow down. Watch for zoned out pedestrians texting someone about their cat's recent hair ball. Realize there are other modes of transportation competing for space. Trying to beat that yellow light, may change your life forever if you nail an errant biker or pedestrian. Your phone should not be in your hand while you are driving.
Please watch this incredible documentary by Werner Herzog.
The fact is that most bikers and walkers are also drivers. Something seems to happen to us when we get behind the wheel that may make us think we are the dominant character in this drama. Everyone needs to think and slow down, and focus. Being the victim or the driver in the worst case scenario are both bad.
Couldn't you have found a photo that wasn't shot in Europe? (I do this for a living so I notice these things.)
The day people have to take a freakin' test to walk on the sidewalk is the day the armed revolution begins....
Yeah, yeah, personal responsibility, blah blah blah. But let's put this in proper perspective: To walk on the sidewalk or cross the street puts no one in danger but yourself. To drive a 5,000-pound vehicle irresponsibly endangers everyone else on the street. That's why you have to take a test to drive.
Your attitude is the problem, n7iqv. You show obvious disdain for the crossing lights and resent their inconvenience to you, you put victim in quotation marks, you want to focus the lion's share of the blame and responsibility on the person who is killed or injured, etc. You clearly see pedestrians as nuisances, rather than living human beings deserving of your care and consideration.
Thanks for proving one of the fundamental points of the article. Now please show some respect and try not to kill anybody.
I am truly surprised that we don't lose more UA students every year. They are "taught" from day one that pedestrians have the right-of-way on campus and they blissfully step out into traffic on campus without even a glance. Which is okay. Drivers on campus know that students will do this and have come to expect it. The problem arises when they get a block or two from campus and forget that they are no longer invincible. I have had near-misses multiple times on my daily 3-mile commute. Why more of these kids don't become victims is only a testament to the skill of the white-knuckled Tucson drivers who are navigating the roads around the UA.
I'll be the first to agree with those who blame distracted drivers (or just plain blitzed drivers) as being part of the problem. Pedestrians, however, are not without blame. Time and again, the TV report leading the late night news shows a dark street, a block away from one of those damned HAWK lights, where an intoxicated pedestrian dressed in black garb stumbles into traffic and was run down.
It might help reduce the number of these "victims" by having them take a pedestrian test, such as vehicle drivers are supposed to pass, before being permitted on the local sidewalks. Dress in lighter colors, carry a flashlight (and maybe reflective materials) so drivers can see you and avoid you. It might be suggested, too, that pedestrians actually USE those $100K HAWK light gifts from the city taxpayers.
Tucson's problems are two:
1. Reduced lighting for dark skies (which has other significant benefits.)
2. A pedestrian reliance on the failed idea that cars will yield with higher accuracy than is humanely likely.
All humans make mistakes and most all crashes happen when two make a judgement error in the same space.
Unfortunately, when one is walking, the crash is likely to be fatal. No one runs down a pedestrian on purpose. Still, never assume a driver sees you and will stop simply because you step in front of him.
This story struck a note with me. I do not live in Tucson at thr moment, but I have adopted it as the place that I am from. So much of who I am today was pieced from the events of my life spent in Tucson. In 1966, I was a 7th grader attending Alice Vail. I would walk by my old elementary school, Bonillas, where I had attened 3rd and 4th grade. (The story of Mrs Eyland or was it Island...is another tale). Each day the path would guide my friend Tom and myself though a gauntlet of elementary aged kids, many of whom were on bicycles. One day before my horrified gaze a kid came flying past us out of the ally behind E 15th Street across Swan Road and was hit by a bluebird school bus and dragged beneath it for quute some distance. He was a rumpled bad of flesh covered bones with blood, hair and parts scraped across the pavement of Swan Road. My friend Tom and I stood agast at the event. The title of this artcle brought this memory back after 48 years as clearly as if it had happened last week!
I don't have time to read your article. But I have a question. When blacks make racist remarks, it is either for their music or it is expressing freedom of speech. When whites make private racist remarks it is a public outrage. The owner of the Clippers can say whatever he wants to his mistress and if I don't like it, I don't have to listen. But to ban him, to try to destroy him, is way out of line.
Was it true his black mistress made the private call public when he refused to let her black mail him to keep the call private? Will charges of unlawful phone recording be filed against her?
Next question. How can a white man who has a black mistress be considered a racist against blacks? Where is common sense in this unwarrranted attack on the man?
James Kidd, you are absolutely right when you said "The politicians today will destroy this country if something isn't done to get people with honesty and common sense to replace them." My question to you is this: Why should thousands of other cattlemen, for whom I have nothing but total admiration and respect, have to pay grazing fees when Cliven Bundy does not? If your argument is that the Federal Government shouldn't own the land in the first place, maybe I should go onto that same land that Cliven uses, and start blowing holes in the ground. Maybe there's some kind of minerals or other resources that I can dig up and sell to make money. Who cares if one of Cliven's horses or cattle steps in one of those holes and breaks a leg. I mean, it's really nobody's land, right? Do you see where I'm going with this? It's hard to believe that you would really want to open up this can of worms. The result would not be very pretty for anyone concerned, including Cliven.
PVK and skinnyman have certainly never lived on a producing ranch and had to put up with all the crap the United States of America Government can lay on ranchers today. The government under which the ranchers live today is the greatest enemy they have faced to date, or will have to in the future. Actually, the government is slowly shutting down all ranching and farming. Those idiots in Washington actually believe that beef and grain comes from cans imported from China so there is no need for ranchers and farmers. I don't give a damn what their color is or whether they are democrats or republicans, they are all the worst kind of fools. The politicians today will destroy this country if something isn't done to get people with honesty and common sense to replace them.
Archie Bunker once opined; "There's a little of me in ALL of us". That means EVERY one of us and it's a matter of individual restraint that keeps the rest of us from having the problems of this man, a NFL player, a cattleman or ANYONE who is so arrogant as to make such spiteful, irresponsible comments. Thankfully, some of my more vile rants will never be such public embarrassment and if so at least my multi~penny empire will not be at as much risk.
And, as an avowed sinner I have far less sanctimony than the writer of this, uhm, rant.
Agreed 100% and then some, PVK. Moreover, can you imagine what would have happened if environmental protesters had pointed high-powered weapons at federal LE agents, rather than militia types?
In Cliven Bundy's case, I'll never understand why, instead of trying to take his cattle, he wasn't arrested and prosecuted as the thieving scofflaw he is. He should be either incarcerated or at least out on bail, instead of still walking around as a free man.
When this City goes broke I hope you enjoy your bullshit holiday. Thanks Regina Romero.
Speaking of la lucha sigue, Santino Rivera's book titled "Ban This" is at this amazon.com site:
I think don Santino will be speaking at this weekend's Festival of Books.
Great column, Randy!
I add this comment only as an outside observer. I'm sure Mr. Chavez has made some positive changes for the workers he represented. He did some good while on the earth and should be celebrated for it. I hope no political influences come from his work, past, present and future. the nature of his work stands on its own. Now for my contribution: for over three years I taught elementary school in Yuma comprising about 85% or more of Mexican children, most US, some carted daily from across the border. I loved that job. The kids called me a Spanish name, translated, " Grandpa." Altho not on the curriculum, occasionally, I would teach them about Chavez. NONE knew who he was. Not one in nearly four years recognized the man, his history, his contribution. One young man thought he was a boxer. When I explained fully who, what, when, where and how great he was, they were stunned that he was born in Yuma, right were they lived, and died in Tucson. That he rose to great heights in the world, moved mountains. It was important for them to shoot for the stars, that Chavez could do it, they could do. That their parents had not told them of Caesar, I did.
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