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Saturday, January 31, 2015

I - The Irony of the Few Sidewalks in Nashville


This story is a 3 part series - I hope you will read all pieces as they come out over the next full day to see how it unfolds.


I was driving home from work and saw a dad and his son, who appeared to be around 8 years old, walking down the east side of 24th Av S approaching Blair.  I watched them walk along the well tread cow path and thought is was pretty sad that the sidewalk ended at Bernard Av.  It was so close to its terminus at Blair…why would it stop just a single block shy?  

The intersection of Blair & 24th S consists of a 3 way stop as it is a 'T' street.   As the dad and his son reached the intersection, they waited their turn and then headed into the crosswalk.  The car directly in front of me, rather than counting the pedestrians as part of equation, took his turn while they were smack dab in the middle of the crosswalk.  He turned left, pulling up to essentially have his front wheels up to the crosswalk and then stopping to let the family complete their pass.   

It didn't look reckless.  The driving was not erratic.  It was very smooth and controlled.  I did worry that they may be hit.  Why would a driver do this to people?  Why not let them cross, then go?

This behavior is what I refer to as 'sweating the pedestrian'.  I think of it as a form of ignorant bullying.  I hope it is ignorant rather than frankly not caring.  Essentially, the driver in their heavy vehicle pulls up so close to the pedestrian (who is in their right-of-way) that they begin to sweat. 

Maybe the driver didn't see them?  But, isn't it the job of the driver to be aware of everything around him?  

A very similar left turn resulted in an 85 year old woman being hit in the Green Hills area in September 2014.  


Left turns are particularly dangerous for walkers.  I consider the story of the dad and his son as a 'near miss'.  No one was struck but the driver must not have considered them - essentially not seeing them until he pulled up to their crosswalk.  



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