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Sunday
Jul272014

Crosswalk blues

Last September I became a daily commuter on Amtrak and SEPTA (Philly's public transit system) to get to my job at Harcum College in Bryn Mawr. For the most part, it's a great way to get to work except for one sticking point.

Getting to my office means using a pedestrian crosswalk on Morris Avenue between the train station and the college campus.

Silly me, I thought if a crosswalk had markings on the road and neon yellow pedestrian crossing signs, drivers would well--stop and let pedestrians pass.

The reality is that I have been in the middle of the crosswalk and almost run over by moms on their cell phones, people hurrying to work, commercial vans--you name it.

Drivers have hurled obscenities at me for impeding their travels. I have felt so embattled using this crosswalk that I considered carrying a crow bar to arm myself against belligerent drivers who have called me, among other things, a "f#@%ing moron."

And I had a few choice things to say in response to these drivers, believe me.

When I called the Lower Merion Township Police, they patiently listened to my complaint but said they wished that we didn't have pedestrian crosswalks because they are not safe for pedestrians.

I already have high blood pressure. This final leg of my daily commute wasn't helping.

So, after months of worry and aggrevation, I gave up trying to use the pedestrian crosswalk. My commuting buddy and I have taken to a long way around to get to work--working beside the train tracks and through the back entrance of the Septa Parking Lot to get to campus.

While it's gratifying being in the right, it is more gratifying being alive. I mean, I know I am not going to live forever. But if I stop using that crosswalk, nature will just have to find another way to take me out.

Shame on all you drivers who are too distracted and hurried to allow decent people on foot to cross busy streets safely. And shame on me for giving up on humanity. Realistically, if the police can't help, if drivers won't cooperate with driving laws, then what else am I to do?

 

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