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annehart

annehart

Finally someone

 

Photo by Anne Hart. Litter on streets, lawns, and at bus stops along Marconi Avenue in Sacramento, as well as speeding bikers and others on wheels at their backs startle and surprise seniors, often hard-of-hearing or with limited vision (and pedestrians of any age) who must walk the few blocks from homes to supermarkets and other destinations.

 

Another big problem are speeding bikes on sidewalks at the moment someone steps off a bus at the bus stops as the bus door may block the view of wheels on sidewalks that down slow down for a stopped bus and departing passenger. The worst is the speeding bike coming at a pedestrian from the back, silently, on a sidewalk, especially when the walker is slow due to age or disability or can't hear or see any vocal or other warning from the sidewalk cyclist or skateboarder tailgating the pedestrian from behind.

 

Finally someone (and other people) who have political, legal, and/or mainstream media contacts and are speaking up on the topic of pedestrians safety on sidewalks competing with speeding bikers at their backs. You may wish to see the article: Injured midtown resident challenges Sacramento law allowing sidewalk cycling. You may wish to see the October 8, 2014 Sacramento Bee article, "Injured midtown resident challenges Sacramento law allowing sidewalk cycling," by Tony Bizjak.

 

People walking on the sidewalks who can't hear well or can't see clearly easily can be hit from the back by silent and speeding bikers on sidewalks who don't ride in bike lanes, usually because it's safer to be further away from car traffic. The problem also affects the visually impaired walkers and the deaf or hard-of-hearing walkers (pedestrians) on sidewalks who can't hear the bikers coming at them from behind or can't see them on the sidewalks.

 

There is no safe walking lane for slow walkers or older people with canes. Even wheelchairs coming up behind pedestrians on sidewalks sometimes crash into them, a sorry state of disabled people in electrical power chairs competing with slow walkers with canes on sidewalks. If the person in the wheelchair is unable to speak, and the pedestrian is standing in the curb spot where the wheelchair has to enter to cross the street, with his or her back to the wheelchair, it's a problem when the wheelchair moves forward trying to squeeze in any space to cross the street without being able to warn the pedestrian to move away from the place at the curb for wheelchairs and tries to move the pedestrian away with the chair (as it has happened). 

 

It's a safety mess and a delicate situation for everybody. But the most often encountered problem is the speeding biker with ear phones listening to radio or speech crashing into the backs of pedestrians on streets where pedestrians must walk from homes to supermarkets or for exercise.

 

No one needs to be bound to his or her residence because of fear of bikes, skaters, skateboarders, and scooters on narrow sidewalks in the daytime when most seniors go shopping for groceries or to medical/dental appointments and must walk to the destination, whether they use public transportation or not. Another issue is the skater, scooter rider, and skateboard rider on narrow sidewalks speeding downhill on the sidewalk coming fast at the back of a slow-walking pedestrian who can't hear the approaching skater or skateboarder, or scooter rider, as has happened, especially on the narrow sidewalks along Marconi Avenue where residences and supermarkets are in the same neighborhood, and also on Watt Avenue between El Camino and Marconi Avenues, and along Howe Avenue in Sacramento.

 

The issue is the safety of the pedestrian on the sidewalk competing with people on wheels of all types sharing the same space, trying to get to a supermarket to buy groceries or other necessary travel. You also can read my own blog on this topic of safety for seniors on sidewalks and pedestrians of any age, "S.O.S. Seniors on Sidewalks need safety for pedestrians, protection from bicycle riders on sidewalks, often wearing earbuds."