Dark thoughts, near misses, and a mental health check-in

(Photo: Shannon Johnson)

How are you doing? 

Considering recent traffic fatalities in Portland, and similar trends across the country, I am feeling pretty low. As I try to understand these tragedies, I am all too aware that each data point represents a life cut short. 

These tragedies are not directly my own, but I am grieving them still. From my own near-misses, I am grappling with the risks of being on (or near) the road, and trying to figure out how to use the roads more safely, and advocate to make them safer. Shaken by the serious and fatal consequences of collisions, I’m grasping at the larger picture, a better understanding that might provide some guidance, some insight, some safer path forward.  

For myself, I am wrestling with our near-misses that didn’t result in crashes, but that still haunt me. On two occasions we were almost hit while crossing the street at an intersection with a signalized crosswalk. 

My grim comfort is that if walking could kill us too, then I guess biking isn’t any worse.

In the first instance, I was riding my giant electric cargo bike, fully loaded with four children in the front box. We had been in the roadway, in the left-turn lane, but realized we were stranded at a red light that wouldn’t change for a bike. After two full light cycles, we had to shimmy our way across right-turning traffic to get up on the narrow sidewalk and press the signal button. We were hot, tired, frustrated, and running late. I had been scared too, after feeling stranded in the middle of a busy intersection with four kids in my bike box, stuck in a left turn lane with an unchanging red light, cars moving about me on all sides. So when we made it onto the sidewalk and waited through another light cycle for our walk signal, we were more than ready to take our long-awaited turn to cross the street. 

But I had seen a car approaching our intersection over my left shoulder, a car that would be turning right, a car that had a red light, a car that was supposed to stop for us while we crossed. 

Instead of entering the crosswalk, I forced myself to take a second look at that car, to make sure he saw us and stopped. He didn’t. The driver didn’t even glance at us. Instead, he accelerated right through the crosswalk we were about to occupy, a space we had the right to occupy, and if I hadn’t been a “defensive walker,” a space we would have occupied. 

If I had pulled into the roadway when our signal changed, if I had failed on this occasion to look twice, to make sure I made eye contact with the driver before entering the street, if I had followed my hot and tired desire to just go it was our turn! — my kids would have been hit by his accelerating car.

Our second near-miss was an almost identical occasion. This time, I was wearing my baby, pushing my 3-year-old in the stroller while lugging his scooter, and supervising two other kids on scooters. As we approached a busy intersection, I commanded my older kids to get off their scooters and walk — a command that may have saved a life. 

We arrived at the busy corner and turned to push the walk button, only to see our crosswalk signal illuminate.”Oh!” I said impulsively, “we can go!” Across the busy street, a pedestrian on the opposite corner was already walking our way, about ⅓ of the way across. I turned us towards the road and was about to step forward, along with my stroller and two scooter-kids, when a black pick-up truck cut us off, rambling right past our toes, through the crosswalk and on his way. 

I stood stunned. 

The person walking in the crosswalk toward us yelled and waved her arms at the truck. She saw what almost happened. I felt sick to the bottom of my stomach. My older daughter was headed first into that crosswalk. If she had hopped back on her scooter to ride across, to scoot a few paces into the street, instead of obediently slow-stepping while dragging her scooter, she would have been crushed under that truck, right in front of me. My imagination leaped to that worst scenario…holding her limp, crushed body in my arms, having to say goodbye to my daughter on a street corner…

Terribly, I know some families have suffered that very thing. My dark imaginings are someone else’s terrible reality. 

It’s heavy to wrestle with. When I put my babies on the bike, I try to stuff down the thoughts, the fears, the questions. “Will my new hobby kill my children?” Shhh! Quiet darn mind! Don’t go there.” 

Unexpectedly, our near misses have brought me a grotesque kind of comfort: they have reminded me that traffic deaths are far too high and far too common. Our two close calls as a biking family have come when we used the sidewalks and crossed the street as pedestrians. And while I know plenty of people condemn my choice to ride a bike with my children–because of the dangers of crashes–I have never in my life heard anyone criticize a mother for walking with her child in a stroller. 

“Oh, you shouldn’t do that, it’s too dangerous!” said absolutely no one to someone pushing a stroller through a signalized crosswalk in bright daylight. “Where was your helmet? Were you wearing high-viz clothing? How could you take such risks with your babies?” Nobody says that to a parent out for a stroll. 

So yes, my grim comfort is that if walking could kill us too, then I guess biking isn’t any worse.

Dark humor, dark thoughts. Until now, I have largely shoved them aside. I have looked at only one statistic: that the leading cause of death for children in the U.S. has consistently been motor vehicle crashes. Cars, even riding in cars, is a leading cause of child death. (Oh dear, double-checking, I see that firearms recently surpassed cars as a leading cause of child death!)

Our near-misses surprised me, because the danger met us in a place and way that I didn’t expect, a place I had previously thought was safe: signalized crosswalks. When imagining how we might be hit, and how to avoid the most dangerous situations, walking a bike or scooter through a crosswalk had not entered my mind. 

Perhaps I should look at the data. Perhaps I can learn more about what is causing these deaths, both with the hope of avoiding collisions ourselves, but also so that I can become an effective advocate for safer streets for all. That means looking at the data and details that I wish didn’t exist. But if we are going to change this horrible reality of traffic death, if we are going to seriously push for Vision Zero, then we have to examine the current tragic reality with attention and care, and eyes wide open. These are not things I want to see, or know, or think about. But it is a responsibility I am going to take up, with the hope of making a contribution to changing it. 

To all those who have suffered loss from a traffic collision, I am so terribly sorry for your loss. I am thinking of you.

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Let’s Active
Let’s Active
1 month ago

Heavy situations, Shannon. Tragedies averted. Thanks for sharing. Good reminders that I will be thinking about on my bike commute home today.

Shonn Preston
Shonn Preston
1 month ago

I like to think of myself as an optimistic futurist and my comments are imaginings of what’s to come.
A day might arrive in the near future when all automobiles will communicate with one another instantly and possibly from blocks apart – while being in control of direction and speed of these vehicles – to the point where “traffic” as a concept will become antiquated. And I honestly suspect any “moving figures” or unrecognizable shapes on the roadway and near intersections will be programmed as instantly recognized to be avoided. (Hopefully). Or – every bike could be equipped with an RF chip that the cars sentient brains could “see” as a larger object and give wider berth to.

It’ll take a while before all this happens, because individual humans like to believe they’re infallible and should be “in control” of their machines at all times. But when everyone agrees and we finally get the “smart streets” we truly deserve, the current car/kill rate will seem barbaric and prehistoric. Almost like we now view burning whale oil for light on dark nights.

Until then, I guess we just keep goose stepping and hoping for the best?

Jimbo
Jimbo
1 month ago
Reply to  Shonn Preston

Wow.

I suggest you read up on material made by Strong Towns.

The ways things are is NOT necessary. We do NOT need to accept these traffic fatalities as a cost of doing business until some technological marvel saves us. We can take action RIGHT NOW to solve these problems.

Furthermore, I am a Software Engineer working in Factory Automation. If it is wireless – DO NOT TRUST YOUR LIFE TO IT. The amount of error present in wireless communication is staggering and it is a tribute to the efforts of my ilk that we can use it to successfully transit any data. Time sensitive information that could cost a persons life? Anyone who says this is possible doesn’t know what they are talking about.

Trike Guy
Trike Guy
1 month ago
Reply to  Shonn Preston

Long ago I used to be an optimist. A futurist. I read Pournelle’s “A Step Further Out” (may be mis remembering the title a bit) when I was 13 and said “yes! we can do these things!” I read “Abundance” when I was in my 30’s and lived in hope a bit longer.

Then I saw the direction we’re actually going. The complete lack of concern by the greater portion of the public around me for the safety of others – if that means it comes a the expense of a perceived “right” of theirs.

Technology isn’t going to save people on bikes or on foot if we’re required to have a bloody beacon on us to do it.

It’s not going to do it when the average life of a car is 10+ years and we don’t require those safety features on all new builds anyway.Older vehicles without the tech won’t save people.The poor person who can’t afford a multi-hundred dollar beacon won’t be protected.The poor schlub who runs to the store for a quart of (overpirced) milk and forgets his beacon will still die when the operator of a multi-ton machine, depending on the tech to take care of his responsibilities, runs him over.We have to live in the here and now. Lights above us and lines on the street will *NOT* stop a multi-ton machine from killing us. When I enter a crosswalk I look over my shoulder and ensure the vehicle there is actually at a full stop. When I’m crossing in a crosswalk with the right of way, I don’t walk in front of approaching vehicles until they reach a full stop. These actions have saved me from being hit on so many occasions I can’t count them.

I actually managed to anger a motorist because I thought they were approaching my crosswalk at too high a speed and stopped dead before entering their path, I watched them stop hard enough that, if it were one of our drivers, their Samsara would have sent an alert to our transportation manager. The driver rolled down his window and said “I was going to stop” in a defensive manner. Dumbass. No, you weren’t.

My longer term plan is to simply move someplace where they kill people on roadways at a vastly lower rate than here. In the meantime I only believe an operator will stop their vehicle when it reaches a dead stop.

Jay Cee
Jay Cee
1 month ago

Great write up. You have articulated many of my own fears. It is true that pedestrian deaths far outpace cyclists deaths but I know that is if little comfort when a driver almost kills your family. Right turns, left turns, cars rolling stops, every intersection has multiple dangerous conflict points when drivers don’t pay attention or overestimate their ability. Stay safe out there.

Alexandra
Alexandra
1 month ago

These thoughts have been running through my mind a lot lately, too. I have an almost 7-year-old who bikes on her own every day to and from school. I also have a 7-month-old in a Burley bike trailer. Often, I have conversations with myself about why I bike with them knowing there is risk being on the road with drivers who are going too fast, texting, not paying attention, etc. At the end of the day, the peace I make is knowing how much cycling adds to my quality of life and being on a bike only promotes the visibility of cycling. I salute you, Shannon, for being out there with your children, just as I salute every cyclist who braves the sometimes maddening streets. It continues to be one of the very best parts of my life.

David Hampsten
David Hampsten
1 month ago

I think everyone who bikes and walks is at some point fearful of our hostile environment. The way I cope is that I remember that we’ll all eventually die, not that I’m in any hurry, and that if I’m lucky I’ll die instantly in a crash (about 35,000/year in the US), but far more likely I’ll die of cancer (600,000/year in the US), a heart attack (590,000), an infectious disease like flu of covid, and so on. I then recall the Galaxy Song by Eric Idle in Monty Python and the Meaning of Life, after the particularly gruesome “Organ Donor” sketch, about how particularly unlikely my birth was in the first place. And if I didn’t exercise I could die of diabetes, carbon monoxide poisoning at home, various toxic chemicals in the car, various infectious diseases from friends, and so on.

The other thing to keep in mind is that if you or a loved one is hit by a car, a signalized intersection is where they are driving the slowest, so if you are hit at 20 mph, you have a very good chance of surviving (unless you are hit by a semi or huge SUV), whereas just down the stroad where drivers are speeding up, your survival chances drop quite a bit. When you see fatal crash data at intersections, police report not the exact spot where it took place, but the nearest intersection, so the data gets a bit distorted. Raised as a free-range kid myself, I think all kids need to develop a healthy relationship with risk, which comes with both being taught what to do, but also a fair amount of experience.

Rain Waters
Rain Waters
1 month ago
Reply to  David Hampsten

though YMMV, the babies pictured arent old enough for free range cycling.

David Hampsten
David Hampsten
1 month ago
Reply to  Rain Waters

I personally became free-range on my bike at the age of 8, but I was lucky and privileged to be raised in a two-parent white household of five kids in a small Midwestern college town. Here in Greensboro NC we have a bike coop that during the summer had inner-city black kids 7-14 who effectively had no regular parents, biking 4 miles by themselves to our park every Saturday, learning some basic bike mechanics – we had to end the program after we re-discovered that bike mechanics make for the worst social workers – they get easily frustrated and burned out working with ADHD kids. I periodically see the same kids biking pretty much all over town – they say hi when I see them – of course without helmets, and often without brakes as well.

Jimbo
Jimbo
1 month ago
Reply to  David Hampsten

I really think you are way too accepting of current circumstances.

This amount of traffic fatalities is not acceptable because some diseases or illnesses kill more people. You could say the same about murder. We made the infrastructure dangerous. We can do something about this, and we should. We should not only keep riding our bicycles but also simultaneous rage about how dangerous it is until it is fixed.

David Hampsten
David Hampsten
1 month ago
Reply to  Jimbo

Rage is pointless, doing something about it is more satisfying. If you are going to engage in rage, do it strategically, so that it might achieve something – random acts achieve nothing. Personally I’m big into advocacy and working with others to achieve common goals, even when it takes forever and a few years beyond that. In my 17 years in Portland I worked with others to get over $400 million in projects funded, about half of which are now built, mostly in East Portland but some in SW too.

Start by voting. Then join a group or three. Visit your friendly local neighborhood association and attempt to change their organization. Work your way up. If you can change a vote, you can change the world, though I’m forgetting the steps in between – Depeche Mode, New Dress.

Amit Zinman
1 month ago

PBOT spent a whole bunch of money to slow down SE16th as it crosses the Buckman neighborhood. Yet, at the intersection of 16th and and Belmont I nearly got killed a few months ago. All that money went to slowing down 16th and not the fast street crossing it. Ten cars on the right car lane on Belmont stopped for my cargo bike, so I wasn’t able to see the car coming on the other lane, not stopping for anything. Luckily I had a lot of food strapped to my bike going uphill, so I was slow enough going into the intersection to avoid getting killed. Had I not had any cargo with me, or had taken my other ebike that has a throttle, I wouldn’t have been able to type this right now.
That said, the only time I spent in a large vehicle on a highway in the past few years was when I bussed to Salem to purchase my Tern GSD. On the way there a car flipped on the road and to the side. What are the odds!

Jimbo
Jimbo
1 month ago
Reply to  Amit Zinman

When I did my commute to work in my car, the carnage I saw pretty much daily was shocking. I’d say the odds were pretty good you saw a car accident.

X
X
1 month ago
Reply to  Amit Zinman

Cargo bikes have many uses. One is to lead out your stroll into a crosswalk where fast moving car drivers are ignoring multiple pedestrians. I need my bike but I also need to cross the street.

Bikes aren’t cheap but repairs to a bike cost so much less than compound fractures on a human. And the pain…

Mark smith
Mark smith
1 month ago

Until killing by Vehicle is treated like the crime it is, killing by vehicle will be treated as an acceptable loss.

squareman
squareman
1 month ago
Reply to  Mark smith

Comment of the week. Follow the example of countries that assume driver liability when hitting vulnerable road users unless proven otherwise. Yes, in criminal law, we usually tout “innocent until proven guilty” but driving is also a different beast where you’re supposed to prove your competence before you’re even allowed to have a license. So it should not be counted as a constitutionally protected activity (and it isn’t), but when it comes to liability with auto collisions with pedestrians/bikes, we treat it the same as our general freedoms.

Matt S.
Matt S.
1 month ago

I moved here in 2008 from another place in the state. I didn’t have a car and lived and died by the bike. Thousands of miles. Not too many close calls. Very experienced.

Rode with my son a while back and it was fun to get him out but I don’t know if the stress was worth it. Cars and homeless, it didn’t feel like it did when I rode exclusively back in the 2010s. It saddened me. I think I might just be a Banks to Vernonia or a rails to trails type of biker with the family. We walk a lot and I’m not too worried about that.

steve scarich
steve scarich
1 month ago
Reply to  Matt S.

Yes, it explains the movement from road cycling to gravel in Bend the past five years. It was all brought home to me yesterday when I rode on a route that I had not done for about three years. I was amazed at the number of giant construction trucks (double gravel haulers, cement mixers, etc.) that came within a few feet of me. These used to be quiet, mostly car populated semi-rural roads. They are now connectors for construction rigs going from highway 20 to Bend. I would say that I have narrowed my ‘safe feeling’ rural routes by 2/3 in the past five years.

Sequoia
Sequoia
1 month ago

I’ve had far too many hits and near misses over the years, not too mention all the careless, inattentive, selfish actions of motorists, to have any trust in the idea of safer streets.

When the proverbial matter is about to hit the fan, it’s just you out there. PPB, PBOT & ODOT are not by your side ensuring your personal safety.

As your stories very well illustrate, YOU and YOU alone, keep YOU safe out there.

I don’t trust that any motorist will see me or do right by me, ever. Yeah, it takes all the fun & joy out of biking. It’s just survival of the fittest on the city streets.

You make a miscalculation or lose attention for a second and your the next person to get a remembrance write-up on BikePortland and your very own ghost bike installation.

Rain Waters
Rain Waters
1 month ago
Reply to  Sequoia

I ride a flimsy cross bike at high speed on dirt fire roads where we used to need MTB. Has really trained my situational awareness autopilot to NEVER frivolously disengage. One false glance at 30 mph downhill could mean same as that sudden truck left hook. People riding in traffic or running with white plastic blaring in their ears are beyond my comprehensive ability ?

The boys grow into this around 10 years old. My daughter too until she started riding with friends. . .

Dave
Dave
1 month ago

I too have been thinking a lot about safety since Sarah was killed. I have had so many near misses I have become pretty numb to them. I commute 3 days a week on bike and like using 16th to cross SE. But, I have been taking a safer route along the East bank esplanade that is longer, but much safer from vehicles. When commuting I am pretty good about lights, front and back, and make sure to always be watching every car. Honestly, it is much worse (bad drivers) than it was 5 years ago and it if you ride enough miles, I think it is just a mater of time.

Fred
Fred
1 month ago

Shannon, your accounts of almost being mowed down by cars that did not stop reminded me how the constant movement of cars and trucks is prioritized in our so-called transportation “system.” When “right on red” laws were passed (in the late 1970s?), think about that said to walkers: we’re going to let cars and trucks roll through crosswalks, everyone outside of cars be damned. And look at the impact.

For drivers, everything in our system says go go go – you have no responsibility to anyone else, just to your need to get places quickly. It needs to end.

Nathaniel Holder
Nathaniel Holder
1 month ago
Reply to  Fred

Indeed. Another reminder for me that we can and should ban right on red in this city.

Charley
Charley
1 month ago
Reply to  Fred

Can someone tell me why right on red is more dangerous than right on green? At a signalized intersection, both feature a vehicle moving through a single “walk” crosswalk and a single “don’t walk” crosswalk.

At least with right on red, the far cross walk is a “don’t walk.”

Chris I
Chris I
1 month ago
Reply to  Charley

It’s because many many drivers roll up to a red light and only look left for vehicle traffic, before they either stop or just roll right on through their red light. They don’t see you are all, walking up to the intersection to their right.

The other situation is where you are crossing on a walk, and right before you reach the far corner, someone rolls forward into your crosswalk so they can “see traffic” before turning right on red. If the vehicles waiting in the straight lanes are large enough to block you from view, they will roll right into you as you try to finish crossing the street.

Banning right on red would end this risk.

Charley
Charley
1 month ago
Reply to  Chris I

I see. I’m used to doing right on red, but I’m a safe enough driver. I’ve never run over anyone, so it has been hard for me to imagine how it’s more dangerous. Thanks!

soren
soren
1 month ago
Reply to  Charley

but I’m a safe enough driver. I’ve never run over anyone

This is the wrong attitude. Every time you drive you could kill someone.

Charley
Charley
1 month ago
Reply to  soren

Yes, it’s true that driving a car creates a real risk to myself and others. Killing a vulnerable road user would be my personal hell: it’s something I worry about on a regular basis, and I’m not sure I could live with myself if I ever did it.

I just mean “safe enough” in the more colloquial sense that I’ve got a pretty good driving record, and one that doesn’t include pedestrian collisions. I think risk calculation isn’t something most untrained human brains do very well, and I would guess most of us discount the possibility of killing a person while driving. When I say “safe enough” I mean that it’s hard to imagine not seeing a person in a crosswalk! But you’re right- it’s possible.

Bill Walters
Bill Walters
1 month ago
Reply to  Charley

You kind of answered it yourself — because despite the ubiquitous usage, it’s actually _not_ just “right on red.” Rather, the law is “_Stop_, then right on red.” Might seem elementary, but ponder it.

Rain Waters
Rain Waters
1 month ago

Rule 1: On a bicycle in traffic, you are NEVER running late. Alpenrose is OVER!

Good for you, I just want those beautiful kids to grow up, thrive and even become cynical old cyclist geezers like me. I finally watched that infamous video where the guy drives around Chinatown area filming endless ghetto scenes where I rode 20 years ago. Portland has the “blues” and its far beyond what I could have imagined. Thank God youtube isnt smellavision yet ! The level of tension and anger you poor people are forced to process is third world off the charts. I apologize to anyone offended by my previous comments here. I had no idea of how bad the situation had become.

Ser amable con los animales. Cuz nobody likes paying to live in such a barnyard scene, they just want the constant reminders GONE OUTA SIGHT. So they drive like maniacs running late to escape.

Pete
Pete
1 month ago
Reply to  Rain Waters

What exactly do you mean by ‘third world?’ Have you ever lived in a so-called ‘third-world’ country? That term is incredibly problematic, especially when used by someone trying to describe Portland without actually living here.

Also, I cycled around Old Town yesterday and it was rather pleasent.

X
X
1 month ago
Reply to  Pete

Old Town is one of the places in SW Portland where people living on the street have been strongly pushed by city employees and various contractors to move and keep moving. I don’t have all the pieces of this, I don’t know where they have gone or what is happening in other parts of town. Maybe they got bus tickets to Florida.

Of course I’ve heard about the three proposed 500 person “camps”. We use that word for a lot of things.

Andrew N
Andrew N
1 month ago

Thanks Shannon from a fellow parent. This article and its comments should be required reading at PBOT, although sometimes I wonder if the scale of the problem (like homelessness) is simply too big for these hierarchical and bureaucratic institutions to “fix”. I don’t have a lot of hope that things are going to get better, as a look at the headlines today about climate disruption and biodiversity loss will reinforce, and humans experiencing grinding stress and a widespread mental health crisis are not likely to treat each other well (check out the research around mutual aid after sudden disasters vs slower-moving ones, then consider the recent studies on covid-induced personality changes). I can’t tell you how many people breezed by me 7 years ago when it was me standing at the crosswalk (I’m 6’5”) holding a pouched baby in my arms and the vibe on the streets seems so much worse now.

Charley
Charley
1 month ago

While on a training ride in north Portland in 2009, I got hit by a pickup truck. The experience was a life-altering one, and still celebrate the fact that I’m alive every anniversary.

I can only guess the level of anxiety must increase when one’s children are are on the streets, too. So I can totally understand the reasoning of people who only ever drive their kids around in big SUV’s, even if I think that makes the world smaller and less healthy.

Kudos to Ms. Johnson for writing movingly about the experience of going against that flow.

steve scarich
steve scarich
1 month ago

Until children are old enough to assess the risk, I don’t think they should be forced to ‘ride’ on city streets. I live in Bend, and have been hit twice from behind in the past four years
, while riding legally in the bike lane. I only avoided serious injury because of my quick reactions and dumb luck. Kids don’t have that luxury, especially when they are passengers. I am not trying to shame anyone, just saying it is not worth the risk.

idlebytes
idlebytes
1 month ago

If 2019 is representative of a typical year for Portland, which I suspect it is, then 53% of pedestrians are killed in crosswalks or while on the sidewalk. 35% of drivers leave the scene and drivers are at fault at least 65% of the time.

I say at least because 17% were undetermined and 18% the pedestrian was at fault. However, in all of those cases you only have the driver’s word that they were in control of their vehicle and couldn’t avoid hitting the pedestrian.

I put those numbers together a few years ago from the police and news reports linked in Jonathan’s fatality tracker and they seem to line up with the much more thorough Oregon Walks report released last year.

It’s pretty jarring but aligns with my experience. For all the stories drivers tell of pedestrians just aimlessly wandering into the road they seem to get hit most often when they let their guard down because they expect to be treated fairly and with care.

In my own experience these near misses happen so often I barely remember any of them. The one I do remember clearly was a child on her bike almost getting hit by a driver running the red at Lincoln and Ceasar Chavez. Fortunately, her father saw the driver not stopping and held her back. It was one of those moments that had me considering chasing the driver down the street to berate them while they sat at the light at Hawthorne. I decided, like most times, it wouldn’t be worth it and would probably only add to several other drivers list of grievances about cyclists in this town, so I just rode home.

The worst part about those experiences is there’s almost no way to make the driver understand how upsetting those moments are. I’m sure many of the people that do those sorts of things would also be horrified if they killed someone, but it doesn’t occur to them because they do it so often without experiencing what it’s like for the people outside their car and there are few if any consequences.

X
X
1 month ago

Thank you Shannon for some fine writing that captures the situation of a biker, a walker, and especially a parent in a world of hazards. I’m always encouraged when I see people putting in the work of raising kids and doing it well. Also thanks Jonathan for enriching your blog in recent years with a variety of viewpoints!

Stephen Keller
Stephen Keller
1 month ago

All of my near misseswhile walking have been at signalized cross walks (in the St. Johns neighborhood). Maybe it is my imagination, but it seems driver’s lose IQ points at these intersections, looking only for other vehicles, especially in right-turn-on-red situations. Maybe it’s because these intersections are wide, designed for the massive freight traffic in the area, but no matter, I’ve taken to avoiding them whenever I can, preferring the uncontrolled crossings. It seems people pay more attention to pedestrians at those. Strange.

Stph