Author Topic: An open letter to car owners  (Read 1181 times)

Offline yippee1999

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An open letter to car owners
« on: November 02, 2018, 11:50:50 AM »

I don't drive.

Which means I"m a pedestrian.

I live near Ditmars/Steinway so often walk down Ditmars towards 31st Street for the subway, shopping etc.

As we all know, there are more people living in the area now, so more pedestrians, cyclists, cars.  Which means more traffic...and cars having to yield to others.

I get that drivers are frustrated by the congestion.  But I'd like to ask that drivers (ESPECIALLY those in huge SUVs!!) please keep in mind that we pedestrians are much more vulnerable.  If you feel irritated and want to quickly beat that light, or quickly take that turn while hugging alongside the car in front of you (to be 'sneaky' in trying to beat the light).... please stop for a minute and consider that there may be a pedestrian in the CROSSWALK, that you can't see.

In the past year I've had a number of near-misses while I was IN the crosswalk and while I had the RIGHT OF WAY.

I notice many times that if a car is travelling STRAIGHT, and is about to come to a crosswalk, that they will typically easily see me, and they will yield.  However, I've noticed many other times that when cars are making a TURN, they often will NOT yield to me and will come right at me.  (One time I actually had to run BACKWARDS as some ridiculously huge SUV came right at me while he was making a turn!  At least he was man enough to apologize to me though.  He clearly wasn't paying attention.)

I've been in the crosswalk a number of times, where I had the WALK signal, and I had to put my hand out to a car that was turning to indicate 'um, you need to slow down'.  It's really unbelievable to many times I've almost been hit.  Cars are making turns WAY too fast.

Now that Ditmars is becoming more congested, you must always assume there may be someone in the crosswalk as you are making a turn.  Don't just try and plow through in order to beat the light.

Thank you!

Offline RayG

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Re: An open letter to car owners
« Reply #1 on: November 05, 2018, 09:01:02 AM »
You can't fix stupidity or feelings of entitlement.

What you can do- Is get more of the local authorities involved. If there was enough pressure from local politicians, the local Police can set up pedestrian stings. Plain clothes police using crosswalks across the neighborhood, with unmarked cars stationed nearby to ticket the offenders.

What you don't do is announce a "crack down". Just do it with no warning.

Offline danigirl

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Re: An open letter to car owners
« Reply #2 on: November 06, 2018, 09:25:16 AM »
I am a driver and also a pedestrian.  I rather walk around Astoria because it is faster!

We all have to be responsible while out be it driving or walking.  I have seen so many pedestrians in the crosswalk when the car has the green light.  People tend to wait for the light to turn green in the crosswalk while cars are going by and trying to turn.  I have also seen people come out from between parked cars and cross the street without even looking to see if a car was coming. 
I also see drivers looking at their phone while waiting for a light to change.  That makes me so mad-they are putting everyone at risk.

I have lived here my entire life and it has become so congested we all have to be aware and responsible drivers and pedestrians.

Offline RayG

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Re: An open letter to car owners
« Reply #3 on: November 06, 2018, 10:14:55 AM »
While there can be blame on both sides, I see FAR more walkers not paying attention to where they're going while on the phone, than drivers checking phones at lights. Especially at intersections. they'll get nearly a quarter or halfway across against the light before they realize, "Hey, I might get pulverized", then look to see if anyone is coming. they don't always stop, but they check...

Offline MissJoAnnaNYC

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Re: An open letter to car owners
« Reply #4 on: November 13, 2018, 07:30:49 PM »
i am a professional driver - charter coaches to be exact. have been an operator for 20 years. **far from perfect or better, but i think what i am going to say hopefully will be edifying**

when pedestrians are in crosswalks (and i have seen this and experienced this many times over decades)

pedestrians should be aware that there are blind spots for us motorists. while i am operating a motorcoach, the common "blind spot" and one of the MOST dangerous blind spots is my left hand side RIGHT under my mirror. Wanna know why? Think for a moment: pedestrians cross in the crosswalk. my coach is making a left hand turn. I "rock and roll" and pedestrian is distracted and crosses "with" the turn of the coach under my mirror walking straight and not paying attention. pedestrian is not tall, and in the most dangerous spot: where she cannot be seen right under my left hand mirror. Please be mindful that even in cars there are blindspots. No excuses are any excuses to hit a pedestrian.... I am simply sharing to be mindful - BOTH pedestrians AND motorists that blind spots exist, they are dangerous if they are not made aware of.

please consider using eye contact to make your presence known while crossing in a crosswalk. feel safer looking a driver in the eye knowing they arent having (god forbid) a medical emergency, mechanical emergency or do not see you by eye contact

be safe and considerate . :)


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