UPDATED Montclair Residents Petition Police to “Aggressively Enforce Traffic Laws in Montclair”

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Photo posted with petition at Change.org
Photo posted with petition at Change.org

UPDATE: The incident residents, including Montclair Mayor Robert Jackson, observed and believed to be a cyclist struck by a vehicle was not an accident. Baristanet has learned after inquiries to Montclair Police, that a 19-year-old male from Montclair was injured after he fell off his bicycle on Bellevue Avenue on July 30. Both witnesses and the injured cyclist confirmed that the fall did not involve a motor vehicle according to Montclair Police.

Lt. David O’Dowd tells Baristanet that the cyclist had bags on his bike that got caught in the spokes, causing him to fall off his bike. He was taken to University Hospital in Newark due to his injuries. The report does not indicate whether the cyclist was wearing a helmet.

“Seeing the cyclist on the ground injured and bloody, it’s understandable that passersby would assume the incident to be an accident involving a car, but that wasn’t the case,” said O’Dowd.

Following reports of a young bicyclist struck by a vehicle injured near the corner of Grove and Bellevue last night, Montclair residents are petitioning Montclair Police Chief David Sabagh and the Montclair town council to aggressively enforce traffic laws in Montclair.

The petition, started by Elizabeth Ruebman, and posted on Change.org, already has comments from those who have signed, decrying dangerous conditions for pedestrians and bike riders.

Montclair Mayor Robert Jackson was aware of the accident, because he had been driving near the area when it happened. Jackson said the accident involved a young male on a bike who was attended to by Montclair Ambulance team members at the scene before being brought to the hospital. Jackson says the council is aware of the need to do more with regard to pedestrian and cyclist safety. “We are working on putting up more beacons and incorporating safety measures. We understand the issue and we understand the concern and we are trying to do more and will keep pressing on it.”

Jackson mentioned the need for speed enforcement and spoke of the Drive with Care program as another effort in place.

The petition reads:

Montclair has become increasingly dangerous for pedestrians and bike riders due to drivers ignoring traffic laws. We want our town to be safe for children (and other humans!) to walk and ride without being run down by dangerous drivers. The number of pedestrian and bike accidents is unacceptable and we are tired of waiting for city leadership to do something about it.

We want the MPD to:

-Aggressively enforce traffic laws with TICKETS, in particular, for failure to yield to pedestrians, passing stopped cars (often stopped for pedestrians), aggressive driving, and excessive speed. Post signs at entrance points to Township.

-Remind MPD officers that THEY must follow traffic laws, including yielding to pedestrians and not texting while driving, and enforce officers’ compliance with the laws.

-Assist school crossing guards with aggressive pursuit and ticketing of drivers who fail to yield to the guards.

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53 COMMENTS

  1. Anyone ever been to the municipal court for a moving violation that is accompanied by points on your license?

    Here is how it works. It is justice for sale, and it is not only Montclair, it is every revenue-hungry local government. If you are willing to part with a few hundred dollars, the court will change your violation to a lesser offense, without points. In Montclair the ‘wheeling and dealing’ takes place in the 2nd floor hallway before court is in session.

    Why not change this policy and make it clear with signage that there will be no negotiation on moving violations? Get creative with a signage campaign that says, in Montclair POINTS STICK!

  2. Bravo. Montclair’s speed limits and pedestrian laws are almost universally ignored by all drivers because they’re never, ever enforced by our police department. It’s a free for all in town.

    Going anywhere near the speed limit on roads that are 25-30 MPH is so infrequently done, that when drivers do drive near the speed limit, cars get angry behind them. (just try going 25-30 on South Mountain Ave, or Valley Road north of Lorraine and watch what happens).

    Stop for a pedestrian? Watch the cars go around you on the wrong side of the road.

    And let’s allow lots of right turns on red in heavily foot trafficked intersections.

    It’s obviously not a priority for the deparment, and they need to make it one, or people are going to continue to get hurt and killed. It’s on our police to protect us.

  3. Sometimes it’s THE COPS who almost run you down in the crosswalk. Recently, I stopped for a pedestrian and the car behind me passed, almost running down the pedestrian. I thought surely the office stopped on the sidestreet would chase this person down, but nope. Crime in Montclair isn’t that bad-cops can surely start pulling people over for this or for using Claremont Ave like a freeway. We don’t need studies or committees-we need tickets. Big, fat, expensive ones.

  4. “So far this year, pedestrian-auto incidents for the first six months of 2015 totaled 17, compared to 20 for the same period in 2014, reports Sergeant Stephanie Egnezzo of the Montclair Police Department’s (MPD) Traffic Department.”

    “For May and June, 2015 there were five pedestrian/vehicle accidents. Police determined two were the pedestrian’s fault.”

    …Be careful when spewing invective—you might trip over the facts…

  5. It is unclear to me, if a cyclist is on his/her bike, they are suppose to follow the same rules of the road as vehicles. So if they are on his/her bike in the crosswalk, which rules do they follow? If they get off his/her bike, it is clear to me that they are a pedestrian crossing in the crosswalk, walking their bike across. If they are on his/her bike, are they not just like a vehicle under the same road rules?

    Also, runners often enter a crosswalk and keep running, never looking left or right. They some times are like deer jumping out in front of you.

    And what is most irritating is when I stop for some one in a crosswalk, I turn on my flashers and then the car(s) behind me proceed to pass me on the right or the on coming traffic does not stop. I have often nearly been rear ended when I yield to a pedestrian in a cross walk because the driver behind me is not looking at the road beyond my rear bumper. If I start to see someone in a cross walk and begin to yield and see the car behind me on fast approach, I have to make a quick decision – yield or get rear ended.

  6. Jcunningham, the number of pedestrian-vehicle accidents is one very small measure of traffic safety. When over a hundred people quickly sign on to a petition noting that they’ve observed an unacceptable volume of unsafe driving, that isn’t “spewing” or anything close to “invective”. That’s observation.

    I watched a driver pass me illegally on the shoulder and almost take out the pedestrians I stopped for last week. I routinely either get almost rear-ended or have to wait while someone illegally crosses the double yellow to go around me rather than wait the 20 seconds for me to parallel park. I’ve been almost hit head-on by a driver passing on the wrong side of the road; and, finally, I seriously can’t remember the last time I was able to drive down any major town road (Grove, Valley, Upper Mountain, etc.) without someone tailgating because the speed limit isn’t quite fast enough for people who want to blaze through residential neighborhoods.

    It has become so insane, I hold my breath every time I stop for someone in the crosswalk waiting to see if the person behind me is going to whip past me on the shoulder and kill a kid or mom or elderly person.

  7. I agree, walking, biking, and driving in Montclair is dangerous. Both motorists and pedestrians need to be overly aware.
    I’m curious to know how many accidents occurred during left hand turns. drivers are busy watching the cars and not the cross walk. Pedestrians aren’t paying attention and seeing if a car is in the middle of a turn so they step out.

    Yikes! I had no idea people actually go around stopped cars. I walk everywhere with my children and pride myself on being extremely aware while crossing the streets. I will need to be even more aware.

    Any suggestions for Saturday’s when the farmers market is happening? It’s a mad house. Could portions of Walnut be closed to traffic for a few hours? (Parking in the train lots can be accessed via Christopher, Montclair Ave or Label)

  8. Dblespresso, please don’t discourage actual facts on Baristanet. I’m with jcunningham (except for “spewing” and “invective”); The petitioners should not have stated that Montclair has become “increasing dangerous” to pedestrians and cyclists before confirming that. Sounds like it hasn’t (at least for pedestrians since last year). And looking at pedestrian-auto incidents was exactly the right number to start with given topic of petition and post. I believe you broadened the conversation to traffic safety in general.

    A hundred people quickly signed a petition! That is less than 0.003% of Montclair's population. What exactly does that prove?

    Not to preach, but a lot of policy gets based on knee jerk reactions to tragic, but extremely rare events. If a law is named after person, chances are it’s a huge overreaction. Facts help prevent that. Thanks to jcunninham, we know there were less than 0.09 (17/180) car *pedestrian* per day over first half of 2015. Our population = 37,000. That doesn’t sound like a crisis to me.

    My only complaint about Montclair traffic is that drivers pull out right in front of me when I’ motoring down Valley, forcing me to slow down. We call it the *Montclair Maneuver.* I honk to teach those feckless drivers a harsh lesson, then forget about it. I won’t be signing a petition about it.

  9. The Farmers Market on Walnut routinely has one or two officers assigned / stopping by. There were two by the Walnut Street driveway / Taco Truck at 10.30 this morning.

    But, stopping for pedestrians in cross walks is asking for trouble. I was making the left from Bloomfield Avenue eastbound to Grove Street northbound this morning. A pedestrian jay walked into the cross lane on a DON’T WALK signal. So I waved him to finish. The guy behind me cut around, and made the left anyway, cutting him off.

    There are places where you don’t mess with the speed limits etc. North Caldwell, Glen Ridge are examples. There are other towns where you can do so with impunity

  10. The MPD used to have 3 officers assigned to traffic enforcement who wrote over 100 tickets each monthly. I believe they disbanded the unit and moved them into patrol.

  11. elcamino,

    Valley Rd is 30 mph except for the 25 mph section between Preston Pl & Inwood Ave (A&P to Kings). I assume motoring to mean 30 mph…or, does it include exceeding the speed limit.

  12. I hope the police will aggressively ticket the pedestrians who walk blindly into traffic thinking they’re above using a pedestrian crosswalk – or cyclists who ride HEAD ON into on-coming traffic (twice I encountered that this week.)

  13. That’s interesting about the officers by the farmers market. I live close by and I’ve never seen them but I’m normally over there earlier. I’m confused as to what the officers are doing in order to improve traffic and the flow of pedestrians by the farmers market. Are they redirecting traffic down Greenwood to lessen the number of cars traveling the busy section of Walnut?

  14. Elcamino, Oy vey. Seriously? We’re going to have a debate about whether it makes sense to use a single reported metric as the sole means of proving or disproving an issue?

    Hey, if citing one data-point works for you, fantastic.

    I, however, rely on a slightly different set of data: my observations from over 15 years of living here. My sample size is 5,000+ days of driving around this town.

    I had never seen a child screaming beneath the bumper of the car that had just hit them until this year. I had never thought to myself that it might actually be safer for pedestrians if I don’t stop because it is almost automatic the guy behind me will whip by on the shoulder until this year. I’ve never routinely had to pull over on Grove and Valley to let some a-hole go by who was right. on. my. a$$. while I went the speed limit – again, until this year.

    It has gotten progressively worse in the time I’ve lived here and despite that, I can’t say I have seen one police officer with a car pulled over in as long as I can remember.

    I don’t think the petition said it was a crisis – but I don’t think it should take a kid getting killed or a mother getting mowed down to prompt even a tepid attempt to enforce the law.

    If your inference is correct that there’s nothing to worry about, than you needn’t worry yourself because if people really are driving as safely as you seem to think they are, extra enforcement will all be moot.

  15. Do we have numbers for auto-pedestrian incidents for 2013 and before? The 2015 numbers were slightly better than 2014, but was 2014 average, above average, or what? Hard to get a handle on the direction of those numbers with just two years of stats.

    From my experience here in Bloomfield, I’d sign such a petition in a heart beat.

  16. “I, however, rely on a slightly different set of data: my observations from over 15 years of living here. My sample size is 5,000+ days of driving around this town.”

    —your feelings are not “facts”…

  17. @montmike – You certainly have that right. Since some here are opting for feelings and experiences over facts, then I’ll submit that it’s been my experience over the last 18 years living here that there are MANY more incidents of jaywalking pedestrians then there are cars mowing down people in crosswalks. Along with the bikers that ride two or three wide head-on toward traffic, or the joggers doing the same. There is a lot of blame to go around and putting it all on the drivers is ridiculous.

  18. The two police officers I saw at the Farmers Market yesterday were speaking with each other. No idea if they were assigned or just stopped by, either way their presence was appreciated by me.

    The meter maid stopped by the Erie Street parking lot a few weeks ago, and wrote a number of tickets. People park by the no parking signs on the entry driveway, invent their own spaces, etc.

    FWIW, I’d love to see a few short sting operations at key points around town. Yield to pedestrians. Maybe just a half hour each for a few weeks. Bellevue at Valley, Glenridge at Grove, Walnut at Park, Watchung at Fullerton / Fairfield, and of course, Midland and Bloomfield.

  19. I think it is both the drivers and pedestrians at fault.

    A few weeks ago I was driving down Glenridge Ave towards Pine Street. I had the green light. Despite that, a group of about 30 teenagers walk right across Glenridge Avenue at Pine Street with no regard to my oncoming car. I stopped and beeped but they could care less. Same thing happened to my neighbor while driving up Bloomfield Ave.

  20. Dblespresso: the initial topic was autos vs. pedestrians and cyclists (see article, petition, and initial comments). Data on collisions between cars, pedestrians and cyclists seems like a sufficient metric to decide if a problem exists, although I agree with SSP that more data would be better and we haven’t seen any data on autos vs cyclists. Beyond that, what metrics (besides the anecdotes, personal experience, and petition signatories you seem to prefer) are we overlooking on the topic of autos vs. pedestrians and cyclists?

    Reread the thread. You broadened the topic to traffic safety generally. That’s a broader issue, so yeah, other data are pertinent, like auto vs. auto accidents. But don’t change the subject and then disparage useful (nay, key) facts brought to bear on the initial topic. Facts are a rare and precious thing on Baristanet; they should be encouraged.

  21. The driving is horrendous and dangerous. Pedestrians aren’t paying attention. Everyone is preoccupied by their cell phones. People get hurt or killed. Period end of story.

  22. Reading this thread it seems we have many vigilantes among us. I guess that could be good. But occassional observations here and there of malfeasance and possible violations, with no statistical measure of costly events, as a way to call for an increase in police personnel, activity and budget may not be what we want. All cars have signals, horns, throttles and we all know the rules for walking, crossing and parking. Now we have these forums to spread the word. Let’s see how that works.

  23. “Post signs at entrance points to Township.”

    Do we have data on residents vs nonresidents non-compliance? How do we “educate” out of town drivers?

  24. For once it appears that Cunningham and I agree! Bellevue and Grove is a tough intersection, given the volume of traffic, frequent backups because of the morons that sit in the middle of the road, and don’t signal their intention to make a left turn. I see this daily. On the occasions when I’m riding there, I occupy a traffic lane, and make sure that the drivers see me, and vice versa. That said, too many drivers make a right on red without paying attention to pedestrians (bus stop), or riders. Now aggressive driving is an issue, and lots of us have been passed or almost rear ended when we stop for pedestrians. That is infuriating. Conversely, pedestrians should not arbitrarily walk in front of moving cars. Physics trumps law every time. In my experience, and what I teach my kids is that accidents are caused when people do unexpected things. In the immortal words of that iconic motorist, Rodney King: “Can’t we all just get along?”

  25. We won’t move this conversation forward if we pit motorists, cyclists, and pedestrians against one another. Many of us fill all three of those roles on a regular basis in town. People disregard the law as readily on foot or on a bike as they do behind the wheel. I think we can all accept that fact. So let’s move the discussion towards finding the best solution.

    Arguing fact vs. opinion is also a bit misguided. Our Mayor and Council have already decided that Montclair should be a bike-friendly town. When a cyclist loses a life, it has a chilling effect on those efforts. It’s a tragedy that everyone in the community feels, and to know that it could have been avoided only adds to the pain. Statistical probabilities compete with many other factors when determining a course of action.

    I agree that motorists, bikers, and pedestrians all share a responsibility in keeping our roads and sidewalks safe. The petition calls for police enforcement of motor vehicle laws likely because cars are the only mode of transportation being discussed that pose a life-threatening risk to people. We have limited law-enforcement resources, and I agree that we should prioritize safe driving. Of course, this does not absolve cyclists and pedestrians from obeying the law and using prudent judgment at all times.

    I applaud the residents who signed this petition and urge everyone to press your representatives on this issue often. Let them know about dangerous intersections in their districts (e.g., Bloomfield and Valley, Church and Park (bonus parenthesis! – make it a four-way stop! The current setup confuses drivers and endangers pedestrians)), and be persistent. Let’s find common-sense solutions that will help us both feel safer and reduce the actual number of collisions.

  26. For aerodynamics and to house air bags, the roof pillars of later model cars are more sloped and fatter. This actually create bigger blind spots for slow left-turning cars where the pedestrians are crossing from the near to the far corner. Seat positions & the geometry of intersections are significant factors. The duration of the blind spot, in half-seconds, is longer the closer the speed is (slower) of the car is to the pedestrian’s speed. Try it out on your car at any trapezoid-shaped intersection or at Watchung Av Eastbound to turning onto Park St.

    As a pedestrian, if i can’t make eye contact with the driver, I assume he doesn’t see me. If I’m on foot, I can’t be in that much of a hurry compared to the risk.

  27. The police do a fine job. The child involved in the accident is not dead. And aside from the traffic density, which isn’t going down anytime soon, the mayor can declare Montclair “bicycle friendly” all day long. I ride for exercise, and riding in town will give you plenty of that especially if you’re going east/west, but it’s not exactly Holland. I see more people walking their bikes up Bellevue than riding, particularly casual family riders. Also, fixing the killer potholes might help…

  28. Excellent point Frank. Don’t just assume the driver sees you. Common problem by Starbucks on Valley where drivers regularly blow by cars stopped for j-walkers and those in crosswalks.

  29. So many comments on this topic already but here I go. First you must establish what is pedestrian in crosswalk. So many people waiting for buses at the corner can be confusing to a driver. I’d like to say if you want someone to stop for you, step one step into the crosswalk, than make sure the car in your lane is stopping, proceed across the street while making sure cars in the other lanes are stopping for you as well. That should keep you safe. When a car blows through while I am midway through a crosswalk (which has happened about twice a year average for the last four years) I reach out and slap the vehicle or give a one fingered salute with musical accompinament to really see what kind of hurry the driver is in.

    My wife has similar encounters with traffic at the crosswalk near Watchung train station to the point where she now will opt for jaywalking down the street as a safer option. These are not kept as statistics because we do not report them they are not simply feelings either.

    As a driver you MUST assume there is a crosswalk at every intersection so there is no excuse not to check for people or vehicles when making a left turn.

    Also as drivers, we MUST use our turning signals to communicate our intentions. I have the feeling (yes feelings lol) a lot of cars would not be going around you on the shoulder when you are stopped for pedestrians if they weren’t desensitized by non signaling cars stopped at intersections.

    It takes a lot of nerve to ask pedestrians to be “aggressively ticketed” when they are the vulnerable, living beings crossing the road. Send that one to Donald Trump campaign, he’ll probably use it.

    Children on bikes, that should raise a red flag to a driver. The unpredictability is obvious, give extra room for them, always.

    Pedestrian sting operations at crosswalks would send the message, it will get some press and bag the offenders at the same time. I’m all for it.

    Lastly, justice for sale. Just because you can afford to pay a fine doesn’t mean you don’t learn a lesson. First you are pulled over far longer than the amount of time you save by speeding. The embarrassment of waiting in front of the patrol car, all of your peers slowing down and staring. That is just the beginning, now you have to take time to get down to the court, wait your turn, pay your fine. Time to think if it’s been worth it. Points just means more expensive insurance, so again if you are of a certain tax bracket, no worse than the fine. If you haven’t learned the first time, surely the prosecutor and judge would be less inclined to give you a deal the second time. If you slip up once and no one gets hurt should you really have the book thrown at you?

    Accidents or ignorance?

  30. Some good points, Eric. Actually step off the curb to make your intentions known to the driver. Our baby sitter got rear ended when a pedestrian, not runner, popped out of Brookdale Park onto Bellevue with no warning. The woman that hit her left the scene, saying that she was “picking up her child.” Needless to say she was gonzo. Watchung Plaza is actually chaotic enough that it forces drivers to be more alert, which is good. If a driver is pulling out of a parking lot, looking for oncoming traffic and pedestrians, he doesn’t have eyes in the back of his head. If no eye contact is made, don’t assume he sees you. I’ve had my car pounded on by Starbucks patrons that walked behind my car when they’ve had a clear view of the back of my head, and still thought it was ok to walk behind my car. Please note, clueless d-bags shouldn’t do this because I might be having a bad day and if you flip me off for your own stupidity your finger may wind up somewhere that you hadn’t originally intended. Finally, whether you’re from Park Slope or Mars, please don’t jog in traffic with your stroller when there is a sidewalk, and for the love of God don’t carry your infant into traffic (Grove at NE school).

  31. In the spirit of Gov Jindal of Louisiana, who wants to arrest mayors of cities where immigrant sanctuary services are provided, let’s arrest these drivers and pedestrians for not doing what we think they should in our midst. Why, we could have these rule breakers flocking to Montclair because we are so lenient on them. Come on, almost happened is not the same as happened, which are down from last year. I do like eric’s comments, as they are common sense. Although slapping cars and flipping off is not good, inviting road rage from the unknown. They may be more agile than I am.

  32. It would be nice if the obstruction of traffic laws were enforced. How many times I have encountered “street life” advocates walking 3 and 4 abreast despite the presence of perfectly good sidewalks on both sides of the street. Just the other night I was heading to the CVS and turned up Pine Street only to encounter groups of 4 and 5 persons jaywalking while looking directly at me defiantly, as if I represented the very establishment that they protest. It’s high time the subculture of lawlessness gets suppressed.

  33. Oh the horror, did your steering wheel stop working or your brakes? Let’s arrest everybody right now who dare step off the sidewalk.

  34. Excellent sarcasm, eric (even better than mine). If we are worried about pedestrian deaths, then yea, jaywalking and walking in the street should be penalized. And reducing the “lawlessness,” in stonebridemfa’s term, might have “broken window” spillover benefits as well.

  35. “It’s high time the subculture of lawlessness gets suppressed.”

    —You write for The Onion, right? That is hilarious!!

    I mean, it has to be parody, yes? One can’t be saying that seriously, can one? That would be sad and pathetic if it were true…

  36. jcunningham, please read wiki entry on “broken windows” and get back to us with your better informed, slightly less nasty, opinion: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Broken_windows_theory

    Jaywalking is one of those little crimes, like turnstile jumping, public urination,…that, if unchecked, lead to bigger crimes, or in other words, lawlessness. So yea, nothing sad and pathetic about that term.

    The subculture part might be more debatable, but maybe you should check out these statistics on crime (arrests) by race: https://www.fbi.gov/about-us/cjis/ucr/crime-in-the-u.s/2012/crime-in-the-u.s.-2012/tables/43tabledatadecoverviewpdf
    They data are from 2010, but I have never heard that the racial disparity has changed in last five years.

    Montclair may not have a “subculture of lawlessness,” but virtually every inner-city area in U.S. does. Explaining such culture is a much harder, but broken windows policing has proved to be effective way to curb/change that culture.

  37. Jaywalking is not turnstile jumping or urinating in public, not in Montclair as far as I’m concerned. For example, Park Street has a crosswalk at Watchung and about 1/2 mile away at Chestnut. Would it be considered a crime to cross the street somewhere in between? I see ten times the moving violations from cars than I see from pedestrians in this town. If you see someone in the road it’s a lot easier to blow your horn than to call the police. How many drivers were hurt by jaywalkers last year by the way, anyone have any statistics on that?

  38. @elcamino,

    Thanks for your as-ever erroneous assumption that I am unfamiliar with the concept of Broken Windows. When I want facts, though, I always turn to the learned experts at wiki!

    Thanks as well for making jaywalking a crime worthy of such a policy. This’ enhancement of yours is blitheringly stupid. If Montclair does not have a subculture of lawlessness, then why on earth are you carrying on so? You sound ridiculous.

  39. ah, jcunningham, so it’s not the general notion of “subculture of lawlessness” that you think is “sad and pathetic,” just the suggestion that Montclair has one that you object to. That distinction wasn’t clear in your comment. My bad.

    BTW, widipedia has been found to be as accurate Encylopedia Britannica:
    “In 2005, the peer-reviewed journal Nature asked scientists to compare Wikipedia’s scientific articles to those in Encyclopaedia Britannica—”the most scholarly of encyclopedias,” according to its own Wiki page. The comparison resulted in a tie; both references contained four serious errors among the 42 articles analyzed by experts.”
    I wouldn’t take as last word, but it’s fine as first word.”
    https://www.livescience.com/32950-how-accurate-is-wikipedia.html

    BTW, why are you so nasty all the time? Earlier in this thread you accused someone of using “invective” when they hadn’t at all, whereas you use it as a matter of course. You should consider toning it down lest you sound like a troll.

    Lastly, “Blitheringly?” Not sure, but I don’t think that is a word.

  40. Has anyone noticed enhanced enforcement of speeding rules, or of pedestrian violations?

    I’d hope that the police might tighten up a little in advance of schools re-opening.

  41. There’s no subculture of lawlessness in town? Right. You must write for the Onion. It would require a great deal of effort and talent to project such a high degree of pretended naïveté.

    [portion of comment removed]
    As for jaywalking, there’s a big difference between someone rushing across the street to grab a sandwich and groups of 4 or more people on a narrow street defiantly not moving for cars and doing their best to walk out in front of them while glaring menacingly. That I would even have to explain this shows just how disingenuous you are being in your hyperbolic vitriol, as usual.

  42. Oh and another thing, this is about vehicles causing harm to cyclists and pedestrians, no need to hijack the thread to convince people that you are in danger because some youth’s are in the road. Maybe my attitude would change towards you if you actually worried about their safety brought on by their stupidity or bravado, but you made it about your fear of menacing stares.

  43. Eric, I was not replying to you. However, since you are directing your latest posts at me, I have to ask if you’re seriously making this an issue of bravado. That’s a rather primitive approach. Whose loved ones, young or frail or elderly or fit, should be assailed or harassed or intimidated? One could be physically capable of handling the whole lot of them and without fear, but it would not be wise to engage in such a way that would expose one and their personal property to not only the litigious atmosphere of this area but to the many laws regulating the idea of self defense if there even is such a thing without peril in this state.

    According to you, we should be worried about the safety of the aggressors. How ridiculous. Lest they hurt themselves while trying to assault the innocent!

    My original point stands without “hijack”: we should not only see better enforcement against the wreck less and aggressive driving but to ensure the safety of all parties (with the value add of restoring the appearance of civility) the pedestrian obstruction of the roadways should be discouraged with discernment. I’d be happy to see large groups simply spoken to and moved to the sidewalk. A simple discouragement would be appropriate. The way it is now, people act as if there’s not a law against walking in the street. And there is the spirit of the law rather than the letter. When it is consciously done defiantly or is contributing to the degradation of safety and order, it should be checked.

  44. I think there is an obvious difference between being harassed by a group of young people and a group walking in the road. I was not asking that you step out of your vehicle and confront them, rather blow your horn and drive around them. I have not encountered such a group blocking a street but I have been nearly hit by cars while in a crosswalk. I have seen cars pass stopped school buses and go around me while I was stopped for pedestrians. I’m sure everyone in this town has seen at least one of the those things happen. While maybe you aren’t hijacking the thread on purpose,you’re not speaking to the heart of this matter of pedestrian safety. Is your point about safety for “all parties” mean the safety of a one ton car? If the problem is a persistent one, perhaps starting your own petition to bring to the police is what is needed.

  45. Eric, thank you for your thoughtful and rational response. The truly civil dialogue is appreciated on my end.

  46. I find it quasi funny this thread is still getting commented on after the article has been updated to reflect that motor vehicle was involved; just a 9 year old who fell over on their bike after some bags got caught in the spokes.

  47. A perfect example of internet and social media vigilantyism. A Rider falls over on bike and a call goes out for police resources being beefed up. Dr. Seuss could not have written it better. We can hide behind our monitor screens and make all manner of judgements, we can call out people and events and take our anger and own shortcomings out on others. We are about to elect a president whereby the computer server, the email, the availability of digital technology is playing a key part. We should all step back a bit.

  48. “I find it quasi funny this thread is still getting commented on after the article has been updated to reflect that motor vehicle was involved; just a 9 year old who fell over on their bike after some bags got caught in the spokes.”

    —hilarious. but we’ve moved on to much larger societal ills, like walking in the street and “glaring” and the myriad of invented crime we imagine folks are capable of. Such fear, such paranoia…so sad…

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