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Letter: Richmond pedestrians, drivers need to look out for each other

Pinky Dang thinks pedestrians and drivers need to take more care of each other in Richmond.
Crosswalks like this one in Richmond can be deadly

Dear Editor,

I’m not a speeder. I follow the traffic signs, respect pedestrians, cyclists, even crossing rabbits. I would not make a Formula 1 trainer proud of me. 

I look out for pedestrians, and when I see them at a crosswalk, I stop like all drivers should. Drivers need to respect the pedestrians and stop their cars to allow them to cross when they see them at the crosswalk.

At the same time, pedestrians need to use common sense when they quickly approach one end of a crosswalk, step off the curb (sometimes without looking for cars) and start crossing without considering how far an approaching car is from intersecting them.

Many crosswalks are located at corners where there may be a long line of cars parked all the way to the corner, thus obscuring a driver’s view of a pedestrian about to cross (like on Katsura Street). 

At other crosswalks, the view is not obscured, but they are in busy traffic areas. On many occasions, including this morning, I see pedestrians walking along the sidewalk and then quickly veer 90 degrees, stepping off the curb without looking up to see how far an approaching car is. 

If a pedestrian starts crossing when a non-speeding car is less than three seconds away from intersecting or five seconds, if the distant view is obscured like on Katsura, the driver would need to hit the brakes hard to stop.

My suggestion to pedestrians:  If there is going to be a quick and sudden transition from being on the sidewalk to going on the crosswalk, please look up and check how far an approaching car is before stepping off the curb. 

Pink Dang