Reader Jane told me about a frightening scene she witnessed this week.
On Illinois Route 38 there are two pedestrian crosswalks with flashing yellow lights. When someone wants to cross this busy road, they push the button, the lights flash and traffic is supposed to stop.
Maybe supposed is too nice a term. Under Illinois law, motorists are required to stop for pedestrians in crosswalks. Required.
What happened on Illinois Route 38 almost was a disaster.
A young person on a bicycle pushed the button, the lights flashed, and they began to cross 38.
One motorist had to slam on their brakes to avoid hitting the youngster, who was crossing with the lights flashing. Crossing when motorists are required to stop.
Reader Jane noted that adults will watch for cars, and in fact she has had to wait several cycles of the yellow lights for traffic to stop to safely cross.
But youngsters may be too trusting and think adults will follow the law and stop. We know that is a dangerous assumption to make.
How does the city help prevent a tragedy from happening? Lower the speed limit? Station a squad car there 24 hours a day? Provide a crossing guard? Change the flashing yellows to flashing reds?
More to the point, how do we as adults prevent a tragedy? We can start by slowing down, paying better attention and following the law.
As the school year starts there will undoubtedly be middle school students crossing this road either going to or from school. They need to be warned that not all drivers are paying attention or obeying the law.
New school year
A new school year is almost completely underway.
Rochelle Township High School students started Friday and elementary schoolers start Tuesday.
Here’s hoping for a good school year, filled with lots of learning and great experiences.
This will be a year of change for a lot of people. Let’s be sure that we all treat school staff and students with respect and courtesy. Whatever position you have on the mask requirement, don’t take it out on teachers or administrators or fellow parents.
Was sitting in the cool of Page Park this week when two people walked through. One person said, “Wow, someone really needs to clean this up.”
The ongoing construction, the crumbling walkway and the plantings need attention. The new lights look nice, and will add to the safety of the area. But these ladies did not comment on that.
Terry Dickow can be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org