Re: “Watch Your Step,” pedestrian safety series, Jan. 3 and Jan. 10. Editor: I just can’t believe the excuses as to why it’s dangerous and who’s fault it is. The people writing these articles obviously don’t walk the sidewalks and intersections. Why is it so dangerous to cross a street when there’s a big white walk signal?
Because of the turn-right-on-red law. That’s right; people are given the right to cruise through a red light. It was the law to come to a complete stop, look both ways, and only if it’s clear, turn right with caution, but when they admit that, as long as you’re doing 12 mph or less and you’re not putting other people in danger, it’s OK to run that red light.
My wife and I walk mostly on East Bay Drive between U.S. 19 and Missouri Avenue to Rosary Road. We have been spit at, cussed at, threatened, and almost ran down. Not only is it the cars on the street, but it’s also the bicycles, scooters, oversized wheelchairs, vines, trees, bushes, weeds, grass, garbage cans, fences, dogs, kids, drug addicts, drug dealers, alcoholics, bus stops, and bolts sticking up from the sidewalk that I tripped over last night, etc.
Walking in Largo is extremely dangerous. I have emailed the Largo mayor, police chief, commissioners, public works, code enforcement and everyone else concerned. So guess what their answer is, excuses as to why they have a hard time getting up from behind their desk and walk the streets that they use as a platform to get votes, or how they’re undermanned and this problem is not high enough on their priority pole. They begged for the job, but only care about their next paycheck.
But, let me get back on the subject of a dangerous, lawless Largo:
• Bus stops should be built before the intersection not after. Bus stops encourage jaywalking, which is almost never enforced. There should be a lot less stops.
• There should be a red light camera at every intersection and enforce the law or put up some inexpensive “no turn on red” signs. People worry that the cameras are just for money, well, collect all the money you want, because these intersections are a lot safer for the pedestrian.
• Get the cops to enforce the “Yield to U-turns” law. That’s right, before you turn right on that red light you have to wait for people to complete their U-turn. This is a dangerous situation for pedestrians.
• Another dangerous situation is bikes without lights speeding up and down the sidewalks. This is another law that’s ignored.