Letters to the Editor

Is pedestrian safety no longer taught?

Now that nice weather has arrived, more pedestrians than ever are on the streets of Mercer Island. And we mean literally “on the streets,” since so many of our streets have no sidewalks. We live on one, 86th Avenue, near the high school and library, which has a lot of both pedestrians and automobiles, and we have noticed that at least half — or even more — of the pedestrians walk with their backs to oncoming traffic. On the Island, this is seldom necessary and often dangerous. It’s easy to trust that drivers will pay attention, and usually they will, but if you can’t see oncoming traffic or sense a driver’s intentions, you are at a dangerous disadvantage.

Do schools or parents no longer teach students the safe way to walk in traffic? They should, especially if they want “safe ways to school.” Police seeing this behavior should remind people to walk facing traffic. School children should tell their parents (who should know better) to walk correctly. Maybe, over time, we can make the Island a slightly safer place.

Robert and Amanda Clark

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