After reading the articles about pedestrian deaths and how Tucson seems to be accommodating bad drivers, I had to chime in as someone who walks a lot and has seen far too many close calls.
Even when you wait at a light — a normal press-the-button-to-cross-the-street stoplight — drivers don’t always stop. They are in too much of a hurry to turn, they blow through the light, they honk at you if you take too long to cross. Many, many drivers just don’t want to wait.
I’ve lost count of the number of times I’ve just waved through a driver waiting to turn. I’d rather wait two or three lights, if I have to, than have someone hit me.
I’ve lost count of how many times I’ve started walking and a car turns just barely behind me as I walk. I’ve seen people almost hit. I’ve almost been hit a number of times.
Even at HAWK lights, drivers don’t always stop.
But I also have seen pedestrians who don’t pay much attention to traffic, people who jaywalk or wear dark colors at night.
Sadly I think it won’t be getting better. Some intersections are just not pedestrian-friendly, like the one at Wilmot and Speedway.
I think both pedestrians and drivers need to become better. Pedestrians need to pay more attention to traffic and try to find a safe way to cross if at all possible. And when walking at night, they should wear light-colored clothing or, at the very least, carry a light.
Drivers need to pay more attention to pedestrians and slow down.
I think sometimes many drivers forget not everyone can drive. There are many places in town where a safe crossing zone should be more than just a HAWK light, more even than just a normal signal — something akin to a wildlife crossing, but for people. It could be a bridge or walkway over bad areas to cross the street.
Every time you walk, it seems like you’re taking your life in your own hands. The losses are mounting, and we all have to do more.