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I have been a frequent pedestrian in Los Alamos for more than 20 years. My family also loves and rides Atomic City Transit several times a week. We live just a few blocks from where November’s very sad accident took place. All that has been written about the accident in this column has neglected to mention one thing – the crosswalks in this town are the most dangerous places to cross the streets.
My kids and I ponder why probably around 90 percent of drivers will stop for pedestrians in front of the post office, yet barely 10 percent will allow pedestrians – even pedestrians with strollers and youngsters on foot – to cross at crosswalks further from the center of town. Anyone who enjoys walking knows the intersection near the high school, Conoco Hill, and the outlying crosswalks demand extreme vigilance.
I have complained to the Los Alamos police more times than I can remember through the years about driver behavior at crosswalks. I find it incredibly hypocritical that they charged the ACT driver in November’s accident. They could not help but be aware that the flagging policy was risky; they knew the crosswalks promote a false sense of security.
When all is said and done, though, responsibility rests with parents. Children who have not been taught to navigate the city’s streets and public transportation system by their parents – by taking lots of walks and riding the ACT system together – have no business being out on their own.
A couple of years ago, I was on a walk with my youngest daughter late on a Sunday afternoon. We were trying to cross the North Mesa Road crosswalk when a driver dressed in a Santa Claus suit came speeding and cut us off. We joke since that not even Santa stops at crosswalks.
Please, Los Alamos, give pedestrians a brake.