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Along the Lakeshore: Oct. 16

Progress on lake levels, concerns about pedestrian safety

Some years ago I was on a kick to have folks pick up a flag at one side of a crosswalk and carry it aloft and out front when crossing the street. I received an email from a friend that says McCall, Idaho uses this scheme. It’s a small town on Lake Payette where U.S. Route 55 makes a sharp right turn and mining trucks pass through. The flags are left in horizontal baskets mounted on the light poles adjacent the designated crosswalks.

He sent me a copy of the Idaho pedestrian regulation which is a closely printed page that includes items such as: Pedestrians shall use the right half of the crosswalk. Pedestrians shall not walk or run from curb in front of vehicles in such a fashion as to cause an instant hazard. Pedestrians shall yield right of way to authorized emergency or police vehicles using audible signals.

My current gripe is that folks wear dark clothing when crossing Genesee Street on rainy or snowy evenings in the winter. In the crosswalks from St. James’ church to Jordan Street, they are almost invisible. It’s even worse if they are jaywalking. The only hope is to see their legs in the oncoming headlights to alert you to the need to stop.

When the sidewalks are iced up, the runners are in the street and only about 50 percent of them are wearing reflective and light-colored gear. Some older folks, bundled up in dark clothing, are also walking their small grocery carts in the street. It would be appropriate to provide a bit of education. I just think these folks don’t know how hard it is to see them. Pedestrians have a legal right not to be flattened by a car, but they should help their odds by wearing reflective clothing.

Joseph Spalding is a long-time Skaneateles resident who enjoys sharing his observations about the Skaneateles lakeshore and community. He can be reached at 685-6937.

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