Jason Dec 07, 2015
An interesting opinion piece appeared in the Statesman Journal over the weekend, asking what I believe is an important question: Why aren’t pedestrian rights a priority in Salem? The resulting comments, although not purely negative, are the typical knee-jerk responses suggesting the writer is an entitled whiner and/or needs to be more alert when walking. One commenter went so far as to reprimand him for not practicing "defensive walking."
Interestingly, not one of the negative commenters engaged with the fact that the dangerous and illegal encounters the author provided as supporting evidence occurred in broad daylight, good weather and clear visibility. As though intentionaly planned to drive the point home, just this morning two young siblings were struck by an inattentive driver as they crossed the street in a crosswalk.
How many more examples do we need before taking action? We've engineered an environment that is overtly hostile to anyone not encased in a motor vehicle. If we're honestly suggesting that we need a literal ton of metal surrounding us to feel safe traveling a few miles, that's no longer a city we're living in, that's a war zone.