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TRAFFIC: Please give pedestrians a break

Letter by Docia Reynolds, Tacoma on June 9, 2011 at 2:48 pm with 6 Comments »
June 9, 2011 3:04 pm

Try to cross 72nd East and Portland Avenue in a wheelchair. I dare you.

I use a motorized scooter, and I thought I would be safe to cross at the intersection to go from the Kmart to the Safeway store. I waited at the corner for the walk light. Then I tried to cross. Four cars turned left in front of me. I had no chance to cross, and by then the walk sign had changed. I couldn’t believe it.

I waited for the next walk sign and lucky for me a van was going across the street which gave me time to go. When I got out of Safeway I realized it was much safer to whip across the middle of the block in between traffic than to use the crosswalk.

I have since talked to other wheelchair riders, and they agree that is the way to get across that street. What a shame to have to put ourselves at such a risk just because of some drivers who don’t pay attention to pedestrians. I watched again the other day as a man in a wheelchair got halfway across and a car pulled out right in front of him and made a left turn as he waited for it to pass.

There are lot of people in this area from the nursing home on Portland Avenue and DSHS office that need people to wise up and pay attention before somebody gets hurt or killed. Please, people, give us a break.

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Leave a comment Comments → 6
  1. agent8698 says:

    How about carrying a portable air horn with you? When you have the walk sign, you have the right-of-way, and if a car crosses your path at that point, maybe blast ‘em with an air horn like this: http://www.completesafetysupply.com/index.php?main_page=product_info&products_id=1
    That might be a bad idea, maybe somebody else has a better idea. Maybe ask the police for advice.

  2. hensandducks says:

    I have been there! It is dangerous to use many crosswalks, like the ones at 21st and 26th and Pearl as well. We need a public campaign to train drivers better. Some members of this new generation have walked very little and do not empathize with pedestrians and non drivers on the streets. Wouldn’t it be sweet to have a day once a month where we “took to the streets” leaving cars at home, You know, as a global climate change response and to build community? I wish our city officials would promote such events.

  3. I always stop at intersections and cross walks for pedestrians, and it is AMAZING how many drivers honk and speed around me angrily! As if I did something wrong?! The worst place is in a school zone! Its almost as if we need safety cages in cross walks!

  4. Until a person or their loved one is handicappped and needs special equipment and consideration, most folks haven’t got a clue. When my husband was wheelchair, walker, scooter bound, we both became very agressive with rude people who ignored any modicum of common courtesy. I suggest just telling them off, waving a red flag in their face, banging on their car fender with your walking stick/crutch, or taking any protective action necessary. YOU have the right-of-way. Period.
    It would be nice if parents would teach their children to help those who need it, like holding doors open, carrying parcels, not running into the paths of a moving wheelchair. Seems there is a lot of “sensitivity” training missing in too many folk’s lives.

  5. BlaineCGarver says:

    Yup, plenty of Alpha Hotels that won’t yield right-of-way when they’re supposed to….They get an earful when they do it to me….

  6. ItalianSpring says:

    I would encourage the letter writer to take note of the Obama/Biden bumper stickers on the cars that fail to stop. But ignore that, and just know that they care.

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