Dear Tell All: I am deeply saddened by the recent death of the UW librarian who was struck by a Metro bus downtown. As a UW student, this news hit too close to home, and I can't imagine the pain her loved ones are experiencing.
I have had uncomfortably close commuter encounters while driving, busing and walking around campus. It seems that drivers, bikers, moped riders, skateboarders and pedestrians too often have no respect for each other, and for rules. People's unwillingness to compromise creates unnecessarily risky situations, often resulting in injury and sometimes death.
I often see pedestrians jaywalking, traversing crosswalks while listening to iPods or talking on the phone, and making close calls with light changes. I also see drivers cutting it too close making turns while pedestrians are still crossing.
I've seen bikers fail to comply with rules of the road when riding in traffic, and am especially concerned about close calls between cars, buses and bikers who fail to stay aware of one another around bike lanes.
I think there should be signage at intersections reminding drivers to pay attention to pedestrians in crosswalks. I think there should be better enforcement of speed limits for vehicles and of traffic rules for bikes. Everyone needs to be more aware of what's going on around them, and we need to realize that we are responsible for everyone's safety, not just our own.
Dear Fix: To me, Madison drivers are the real problem here. Drivers need to make a choice: getting to a destination a few seconds faster or avoiding pedestrian slaughter.
The day after the librarian got hit by the Metro bus, I was walking through a crosswalk at the intersection of Regent and Monroe streets. Normally, cars turning east from Monroe onto Regent zoom right in front of me, even though I have the right of way. If I don't abruptly stop walking, I'll get hit.
On this day, though - right after the librarian's death - I was almost certain the cars would let me pass through the crosswalk. But they didn't. They turned illegally and, as usual, missed me by an inch.
I guess Madison drivers have made their choice: getting to a destination a few seconds faster. Let the pedestrian slaughter continue.