Ledger Inquirer

Too many midtown drivers are unyielding

Too many drivers are ignoring these signs in midtown on 13tth Street, a Concerned Reader says.
Too many drivers are ignoring these signs in midtown on 13tth Street, a Concerned Reader says. mowen@ledger-enquirer.com

Murray Anderson is a member of the city’s Public Safety Advisory Board, and he has some advice for the folks in public safety:

Stop at pedestrian crosswalks if there happen to be pedestrians in them.

Anderson works at Mr. B’s liquor store, and once or twice a day he will walk across 13th Street to get something to eat at Piggly Wiggly. There are two marked crosswalks on that stretch, with buttons pedestrians can push to turn on lights to alert drivers that people are crossing the four lanes of traffic there. And there’s a good bit of traffic there — about 15,000 cars a day, according to the city’s traffic map.

But few, if any, of those 15,000 bother to stop for people in the crosswalks, in spite of the fact that it’s state law and there are signs facing both directions reminding drivers that it’s a state law.

“When you cross, they don’t stop, they honk their horns and look at you like, ‘What are you doing?’” Anderson said.

He said he recently saw a Columbus Police motorcycle officer breeze through the crosswalk while there was a couple with a small child crossing. Anderson flagged the officer down and told him he should obey the law as well as enforce it. He said the officer’s response was, “Get out of the crosswalk.”

“They need to either enforce the law or do away with the crosswalks,” Anderson said.

In addition to enforcing the law, maybe we can educate the public here a bit. Folks, it really is against the law, just like the sign says, and the fine for failing to yield to pedestrians in a crosswalk is $166.50, according to Columbus Recorder’s Court.

I expect the fine would be considerably higher if you actually ran over someone in the crosswalk, whether you’re in a car or on a motorcycle.

“It’s obvious that people don’t know the law,” Anderson said. “If the city needs money, they could write a lot of tickets there and make a lot of money.”

Don’t give them any ideas, Murray.

Update

Remember last month when we got a call about dead trees in Flat Rock Park, one of them in particular looming over one of the picnic table areas? Well, that patricular tree is now a stump, so you can go ahead and have a picnic.

Seen something that needs attention? Contact me at 706-571-8570 or mowen@ledger-enquirer.com.

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