Peter Roscoe proposed an idea in his first year on the Astoria City Council. Roscoe asked Astoria Police to identify good drivers and publicly recognize them. It happened for a few months and then went quietly away.
Roscoes successor on the council, Drew Herzig, drew attention to pedestrian traffic accidents. He promoted the idea of placing flags at busy intersections where walkers could wave them as they crossed the street. After those flags were stolen, replaced and stolen again, that program slowly faded away.
Pedestrian accidents are horrific things, but we seldom see the experience from the victims side. Jill Abramson is one of Americas most highly visible pedestrian victims of a near-fatal accident. On Sunday she told her story vividly as well as the stories of three of her colleagues at The New York Times, where she is executive editor. Abramson was hit by a truck while she was crossing with the light.
You are never again sure that a vehicle that should stop will stop, and carefree pedestrian wanderings in the metropolitan area end abruptly and forever, she writes.
The incidents Abramson recounts happened in one of the nations largest cities. However, the personal experiences she recounts are no doubt common to such victims everywhere.
Astorias is a tiny place by comparison, but we have traffic, and we have dangerous intersections. Our town has suffered its share of recent pedestrian accidents.
The mayor and council were wise years ago to place an additional pedestrian traffic light in the middle of Uniontown. The light at the Safeway intersection has made an enormous difference.
Just as Abramson reminds us that pedestrian victims never truly get over it, a city such as ours should never forget whats happened on our streets. Safe driving, vigilant walking and new traffic devices are essential.