by: ,

I was shocked and appalled to hear about the recent pedestrian 'safety' event that the police department enforced Feb. 28.

I have made numerous recommendations for city pedestrian safety specifically at A Avenue and Fifth street. This section of passage is 5 lanes deep and in a 25 mile an hour zone. It is especially difficult to span such a wide spread of roadway to see if someone is visiting on their phone or actually intending to cross.

What happened to my idea of using the flags as they do in downtown Jackson Hole. Pedestrians can wave the brightly colored flags to notify drivers of their intent to cross and leave the flag on the other side. The only response I received to this is it did not fit in the 'appearance' of downtown. Is 'appearance' more favorable over injury? In addition there are bold white stripes which are worn, why can we not install reflectors to better remind drivers this is an actual crosswalk? Better yet, why can we not install a small median in which there is a flashing light that is tripped by the pedestrian wishing to cross like the city of Corvallis? These are all safety prevention measures and would support pedestrians and drivers alike.

Pedestrians are walking and running with pets and children on the small strip of private roadway (the city has easement rights) that connects Lakeview to Iron Mountain. Is the city going to start ticketing them for illegal passage in the roadway as a pedestrian? This is the most dangerous area to encounter a pedestrian due to the blind spots, especially at night.

I have been told the city has made a safer passage for pedestrians a little further down Lakeview. My suggestion was to put a sign up advising pedestrians that it is illegal to be in this section of roadway and encourage them to take this safer route. I was told, if they are hit it is their fault. Is that suppose to make us commuters feel OK … who cares whose fault it is? No one wants to hurt someone or get hurt.

I have personally witnessed two pedestrian vehicle accidents in downtown. One in the dark and the other at the city hall walk, which is very shaded due to the foliage on a dark day. More protection is typically provided by education and communication. Let's be part of a solution that protects us all.

We have spent a great deal of money making our city beautiful, now let's make it safe.

Teresa Barnard is a resident of Lake Oswego and an agent for State Farm Insurance.

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