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Letter: A Pedestrian Plea for Disabled Visibility

Reader Dan McMullan shares how a group of Berkeley residents are demanding better pedestrian safety.

By Dan McMullan

On Sunday, March 31 — the last day of Zachary Cruz Pedestrian Safety Month in Berkeley — a small group of Berkeley residents of all kinds met under rainy skies, to point out a dangerous fact.

That our progressive little city — that often preaches how it should be done to the entire country and yes, even the entire world — is the most dangerous little city of it's size, to be a pedestrian, in the entire State of California.

Recently, I was hit in a crosswalk in my wheelchair. The first officers response was pretty damn shocking. And offensive.

Fortunately, we have a department that is willing to take a better look and City Officials for all their crazy politicking know a serious issue when it crops up and the case is being reinvestigated. 

But the bigger issue that was shaken out of my head in that accident is that you can take every precaution and cover all the angles, but if the other guy is not looking out for you, you might find yourself waking up face down on the asphalt like I did, thinking you are taking your last breaths. 

Or worse, have a day named after your child.

We met at the Berkeley BART and took a walk in the downtown area, crossing streets legally and very visibly to remind drivers we are out there and our lives are in you hands.

Thank you to all who participated in the memorial and walk and thank you Berkeleyans who watch out for us every day.

Mary April 03, 2013 at 09:45 PM
I am not disabled, but I am terrified of crossing streets nowadays because there are too many careless and aggressive drivers who act is if red lights, speed limits, and crosswalks either don't exist or don't apply to them. Shattuck in particular has become a nightmare to cross. Sometimes I have counted over 30 cars going by before one stops for the crosswalk. What we need is far more law enforcement - the tickets written would more than pay for the cost of hiring extra officers.
P. Park April 04, 2013 at 06:29 AM
I agree Shattuck, especially right in front of the fire station is the scariest street around.

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