Whidbey News-Times


Oak Harbor leaders need to make crosswalks safer | Letter

July 5, 2013 · Updated 3:11 PM


I live on Northeast Fourth Avenue and, because my work is a mile from where I live, I walk to and from work.

I am also an avid runner, running three times a week.

The reason I am writing this is because I am getting tired of playing Frogger.

When I am either walking or running I follow the rules of the road. This means I walk or run on the left side of the road against traffic. I use the crosswalks as they are intended to be used.

While walking/running I have experienced several near misses in crosswalks.

I was even hit by a car that was coming out of the McDonald’s parking lot because the sailor who was driving his car was too busy eating his burrito and not paying attention to traffic around him. I use the crosswalk that is by my house, which is Northeast Fifth Avenue and Midway Boulevard.

Now it does have signs that say that you have to stop for people in the crosswalks. The city has just recently repainted the warning on the road and the crosswalk itself.

There are flags that are in holders so we as the walkers have to flag down the drivers so they can see that we are crossing. Lot of the times both sets of flags are on the opposite side of the street.

I have waited at various crosswalks and areas of crossing the street that is legal to do and have to wait for three or four cars to cross the road because they are either speeding, not paying attention to the road and their surroundings, or a combination of both.

My suggestion for the visible crosswalk is to make them light up like some of the ones by the high school. I also challenge our city leaders and police department to walk these streets and use these crosswalks in their regular clothes and see how the drivers in this city have no regard for those of us that walk, run or ride.

I know last year there was a young lady that got hit in a school crosswalk because the driver was not paying attention.

I would like this resolved before someone gets seriously injured or worse.


John Tharp

Oak Harbor

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