Opinion

Slow down M.I.

Despite the mixed messages coming from the weather gods, spring is here. The sun will come out. And when its does, so do the people.

Kids glide by on scooters, boards and bikes. Parents with strollers and dogs are out basking in the sun. Seniors from Island House are crossing the street on their way to the post office. Construction and office workers alike amble to QFC and Albertsons at lunchtime.

Even though they all know better, adults and teens jaywalk on their way to McDonalds and Blockbuster. On East and West Mercer Way, cyclists channeling the spirit of Lance Armstrong bank along the curves in search of their own celebration of the outdoors. The increased hours of daylight also draw teenagers, many of them newly licensed, onto the roads in cars.

Street maintenance work begins again in earnest in June. The expansion of traffic lanes at Island Park Elementary School on Island Crest Way will cause delays and headaches there.

New construction in the Town Center generates its own twist on navigation. Streets are sometimes narrowed to one lane; the maneuvers of heavy trucks and equipment create other hazards.

It is time for drivers and cyclists to remind themselves to slow down and give a little. Pedestrians too need to take another look and note what is around them. Everyone needs to take a deep breath and relax during the 20 seconds or so they have to wait to move on.

We hope that the police find time to monitor speeds on Island streets and nab impatient drivers who slide through stop signs talking on their cell phones or squeeze out cyclists. However, there are often many other matters demanding their attention. The best speed police are ourselves.

We tell teens who begin to drive that driving is a privilege. Lets walk that talk. Let's help keep our Island a safe place to walk, cycle and drive.

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