Stop, be patient, wait your turn | Letter
I see an odd and troubling evolution of thinking on cars vs. humans.
I find that it makes most sense for people to stop for cars rather than cars to stop for people.
Yet we have more and more orange flags, blinking lights and visual pollution augmenting the message of a simple stop sign that seems to almost insult the intelligence of our populace.
I've spent a third of my adult life crossing streets in chaotic traffic scenes all over the world. (And here in Edmonds, I rarely drive my car because I enjoy walking almost everywhere.)
The trick that works perfectly for me: stop, be patient, wait my turn.
If a car is barreling by, I relax. He's bigger. If tons of metal have all that inertia up and are rumbling toward me, don’t make it stop and then have to waste all that energy to get up to back up to speed … I’m a little human, and I need to just wait a few moments.
Sooner or later, there is a nice break in the traffic, and I can then look both ways and walk safely across the street. There is always a break in the traffic on the way. I’d rather not spend lots of city money cluttering our beautiful town with orange and yellow flags and signage stopping traffic when pedestrians like me can simply be patient in order to be safe.
Please, if we empower people to believe anyone can just step into the street and cross safely without a short wait for an adequate break in the traffic, there is no end to the visual safeguards we’ll need.
Happy travels (even if you're just staying home).