Letters to the Editor

Look both ways, save a pedestrian

I have a complaint about the inattention of some area drivers toward pedestrians. One of the things that was attractive to my friend and me about moving to Oak Harbor was being able to walk from our house near Swantown Avenue and Highway 20 to stores, doctor offices, the post office and public library.

Over the past year, we have nearly been hit at least 10 times by drivers turning corners without looking both ways. Several of those near misses have been as we crossed Highway 20 at the corner of Erie Street. We always wait for the walk light, but some drivers seem to be unaware that we are trying to cross the street.

The most recent near-miss was about a week ago in front of Wendy’s. A pickup truck was waiting to turn right onto Highway 20, and, as we crossed in front of the truck on the sidewalk, the driver, without ever looking to his right, started to make his turn. I was directly in front of the truck on the sidewalk; the driver, without even looking to his right, started to make his turn. I was directly in front of the truck, pounded on the hood and yelled. He looked startled and then started to turn again, this time running into my friend’s shopping cart. The driver of a car waiting to turn into Wendy’s driveway looked startled, having observed the entire incident. Had I not pounded on the hood, yelled, and hopped out of the way, I may have been seriously injured.

As I recall from my driver’s education course as a teenager and again taking the driver’s course through AARP, drivers should always look both ways before attempting a turn.

Another driver discourtesy we have encountered many times is vehicles blocking the sidewalk as they wait to turn, usually out of parking lots. Some drivers are polite enough to back up when they see us attempting to pass by on the sidewalk, but others seem totally oblivious to our presence.

So, drivers, please be more aware of us pedestrians. The reason our communities have sidewalks is so people can walk on them. Taking an extra instant to look both ways may save a tragic incident in which a pedestrian is injured or killed.

Bill Eckerly

Oak Harbor

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