On Friday, a woman tried to cross the street. She was struck by a driver, and on Saturday she died. Our purported newspaper was too busy touting cooking school to provide an update. City officials were silent.
Killed trying to cross the street, just a few blocks from her house. From my house. From YOUR house, whether you live in Silver Hills or on Slate Run Road.
The usual excuses immediately appeared on social media, with the usual caveats: But Roger, we must wait for the police report to know who was right and who was wrong!
Randy Smith answers this: We are the Killers.
For we are the killers. We blithely tolerate a street grid with 48-foot-wide streets that pedestrians are expected to navigate without the sanction of government protection. Already some speculate that Chloe should not have taken the risk of crossing the street. The temptation is great to cast blame.
If you’ve spent any appreciable amount of time walking in downtown New Albany (I have) and don’t feel constant nagging trepidation when legally crossing streets designed and maintained for the ease of passage by drivers, not walkers and bikers, you’re simply not being realistic.
Or you’re not human.
I don’t have to wait for a police report, because I trust my own two eyes, my own instincts and my own experience, which is lengthy, both walking and cycling these streets over a period of 15 years.
The intersection at Spring and Vincennes is built to be a merry shooting gallery for walkers. It’s simply true, it’s not the only one downtown, and it’s been only a matter of time for too long of a time that something like this would happen.
I’ve seen the near hits. I’ve been a near hit, both here and elsewhere in town. I take no joy whatever in knowing that we’ve been right in exposing this again and again and again, trying to convince the tone deaf time-servers at city hall that we have a problem, even as they leer and jape and roll their eyes.
The casting of blame: Yes, we are the killers. But because this problem is correctable, and since Jeff Gahan has refused to correct it, prioritizing anything and everything ahead of basic, fundamental public safety, then I have absolutely no compunction in asking the mayor if I could fetch him a towel.
You know, for the blood on his hands.