Tuesday, December 29, 2009
Walking on the Sidewalks Shouldn't Be So Hard
Guest post by the Hawthorne Hawkman. Image from www.failblog.org
I know this might seem like a minor issue, but it's one that really does put pedestrians and drivers in danger. Why is it so common for people to walk down the middle of the street? I've lived near Como Lake in St. Paul, in Uptown, and in SoMi, and I haven't seen this kind of behavior anywhere nearly as often as I do here.
Now before folks think I'm acting like a crotchety old fogey, I do understand...
...about the snow. When sidewalks aren't shoveled consistently and properly, where is someone supposed to walk? But with better enforcement and slumlords easing their guilty consciences, hopefully this problem can be mitigated somewhat.
And I can think of at least ONE good reason to walk down the middle of the street. Okay, two, although the latter is just crossing the street, not walking with or against traffic.
Even so, tonight as I was driving around Hawthorne and Jordan, I almost ran into people at least twice because they were walking in the middle of the street. In both cases, the sidewalks on the block were clearly shoveled and walkable. And in both cases when I honked at them, they looked at me as if it were MY FAULT. I'm surprised people or other vehicles haven't been hit more often when drivers have to swerve at the last moment like this.
For emphasis, I repeat: down the MIDDLE of the street. Even if sidewalks were an issue, no attempt was being made to walk as close to the edge of the street as possible.
The problem goes further as it's not just kids that do this and it doesn't just happen in the wintertime. I've seen adults who should know better - even walking STROLLERS down the middle of the street in JULY. I've ran across groups of at least a dozen kids who walk down the middle of the street like they OWN it (also in the summer).
I'm naming this as an issue in NoMi and asking our fine men and women of the MPD to help us keep pedestrians on the sidewalks or at least out of the middle of the road.