I was walking home last Tuesday night and saw a small crowd in the middle of a very busy road. They were huddled around a biker who had reportedly been hit by a car. Emergency personnel got to the scene about the same time I did, and I watched as they had the woman wiggle her fingers. It was the only thing I could see from where I was standing on the curb, but I felt alright walking away knowing she was at least conscious and responsive.
It got me thinking about all the close calls I’ve had as a jogger in this town. Drivers love to make right turns on red without checking for pedestrians in the crosswalk. They also tend to make left turns on green without doing the same. I can’t even count the number of times someone has “waved me through” in front of his car as though he’s doing me a favor even though I am within the white lines and have the right of way.
I don’t know why everyone is in such a rush and so callous about paying attention. I’ve had my fair share of almost collisions with bad bikers too – those who speed through lights or race down the sidewalk when they should be on the street. But it’s the cars that frighten me the most. And as it turns out, I have good reason to be concerned.
After finding this link to a site that keeps track of how many people get Struck in DC each week, I now know it’s not just me. This is a big problem. I signed up to follow DC Fire EMS on Twitter. It’s not even 3pm, and there already have been three incidents so far today:
Something’s got to get done. I don’t know what the answer is. No rights on red? More “Yield to Pedestrians” signs? You tell me. I’m game for whatever works.