Talking Crosswalks

Thirty-five drivers yesterday were ticketed for “failing to yield to a pedestrian,” in a sting by Bremerton Police on Burwell Street.

It seems to have people talking.

I’ve already received some e-mails and phone calls about the story in today’s paper, and I thought I’d share some of those with you.

Dark Clothes a Factor

Shipyard workers at Naval Base Kitsap at Bremerton have talked for years about how scary the crosswalks can be, I’m told. Reader Janice M. Danielson wrote me this morning to say first hand the plight workers face in trying to cross the road:

“I have driven in front of and behind numerous drivers who just fly on Burwell St with little or no attention paid to those guys from the shipyard that are trying to cross.

While its great that the police are being proactive, one of the big issues about these crosswalks, and the shipyard people is that in our rainy dark seasons they wear really dark clothing.. which is a big NEGATIVE.”

Did We Spoil the Sting?

Patricia Leigh-Upton wrote me to say that writing the article would most certainly thwart police efforts for the sting:

“How can this be a successful operation, when this type of information is released?” she asked.

Like many police efforts to curb recurrent problems, Patricia, cops rely on two methods: enforcement and education. Any of the police out there would likely tell you the point is not to write tickets all day — it’s to inform the public they’re breaking a law, and must change their ways.

An article simply helps spread the word.

What About Perry Avenue?

Finally, a note from Loney Kennedy, who lives in East Bremerton:

“I have been complaining about traffic not stopping on Perry Ave for years! I ride a PSNS Worker Driver bus to and from work each day. At night when I come home, rain or shine I have to wait for cars to pass before I can cross Perry. I first reported this problem to our local police on February 28, 2005 … Once I have stood along side the road in a down pore while 37 cars whizzed past, including a Bremerton Police car! I have had cars coming in the far lane cuss or flip me off, because I got in their way!”

Of Wednesday’s sting, he wonders:

“Is the city trying to make it safer for the pedestrian, or just use a new way to get into our pockets? If the city just wants to make revenue they should start at home! If they truly want to help the citizens, Why has there never been an officer show up at the unmarked crosswalk I have told them of over, and over, and over again?”

Loney also says he’s referenced Revised Code of Washington 46.61.235 to officers in the past. He told me he’s heard officers use another RCW.

However, Loney, I can tell you yesterday, as the police penned their $112 tickets, they were indeed using 46.61.235.

All for now …

2 thoughts on “Talking Crosswalks

  1. I always tried to pay special mind to those crosswalks on Burwell because a lot of people don’t. However, late at night, there is a problem with intoxicated folks darting out into the crosswalks without warning and wearing dark clothing.

  2. People should not be afraid to use our crosswalks!
    How difficult would it be to have approaching cars trigger a stop light at designated crossings?

    Sharon O’Hara

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