Pedestrian safety in Emmetsburg is improving as drivers become more aware of people using the crosswalks on our busy Highway 4 and Highway 18 downtown. Main and Broadway is a major crossroad, even more so during the summer months.
The good is beginning to outweigh the bad at downtown crosswalks.
There have been numerous reports from pedestrians that drivers have stopped for them as they cross the street. And they say it with a smile, pleased that drivers notice and let them pass.
We have been complimented on the yellow box at the bottom of the front page of the newspaper, encouraging drivers to stop for pedestrians. And we are aware that people see the four pedestrian crossing signs at strategic locations downtown.
More people are walking, enjoying the exercise. There is an increase in young people walking or riding their bicycles to and from summer destinations. Their responsibility is to use the crosswalks where the law protects them.
Weren't we taught in Driver's Education that pedestrians have the right-of-way? For many of us, that was a l-o-n-g time ago. The law hasn't changed and we have. We are all in a hurry to get to our destinations at the maximum speed, without getting ticketed.
Here are a couple of personal experiences since the signs went up downtown: I stopped in the outside lane for a pedestrian and two other cars went through in the center lane. The pedestrian looked helpless. I stopped for a pedestrian with a stroller and the pedestrian waved me through, so I went. Do you think the pedestrian didn't want to hold up traffic? I stopped for a pedestrian who still raced across the street, probably out of habit.
Then I observed a pair of teens crossing at a green light at Main and Broadway. They had to run because cars were turning right on red.
The intersection at Main and Lake Streets is a real challenge. Vehicles appear to be racing between stop lights. I walked across at this intersection with a mother and young children and the traffic slowed to allow us to pass.
Congratulations to the many drivers who stop for pedestrians in the crosswalk. You are to be commended for being aware and obeying the law. Keep up the good work.
We want to become known as a pedestrian friendly community. There are so many beautiful assets in our town. Let's become known as the home of Five Island Lake and the home of courteous, law-abiding drivers. Look left...look right...walk (there's no need to run).