Monday, August 13, 2007

Hey, use that crosswalk!

What is UP with all the jaywalking visitors to our fair city? Don't they know how many people get killed every year just walkin' across Coast Highway?? Guess not.

From the Subway Sandwich patio one recent Saturday at noon, I watched a Big Daddy drive the southbound family minivan up to the red curb in front of Friendship Shelter (about 20 paces south of the oh-so-handy, life-preserving crosswalk at Cress and Coast Highway), park and put on his flashers, partially blocking traffic. Destination: Subway! He stood there until the traffic cleared enough for him to lead his two teenage daughters across this busy section of road, dashed in for a bagful of footlongs -- then waddled back OUT into traffic, again endangering his offspring, completely ignoring the rushing cars, honking horns and the - did I mention - convenient CROSSWALK a few yards away.

Someone is gonna die! It's Darwinian. Not sure how fast the traffic has to be going before instincts take over in their sun-addled heads. I know it seems like a dopey rule when there are no cars around, but jaywalking is illegal for good reason during peak summer season. Or is it? Do LBPD officers bother to give out tickets or warnings for jaywalking? I have seen several egregious, hair-raising incidents lately with people casually picking their way through a dizzying rush of cars. Are we just waiting for some clueless Kansan to be the first red smudge on the double-yellow line? It's scary enough in the crosswalks with the flashing yellow lights. I have a pet peeve about drivers who blow through them -- but motorists aren't the only ones who need to be ticketed. In a meeting between a moving vehicle and a human body, there is always just one left intact.