President Obama’s call for civility, the recent rash of vehicular homicides in Westport, and the overall experience of living here for most of his life prompted an “06880” reader to write:
Am I the only person in Westport concerned about the sudden escalation of deaths of pedestrians and bike riders in town? What is the number in the past 2 years…5? And 2 killed on the Post Road in just late 2010 alone.
This does not include the nearly killed — many by hit-and-run drivers. An elderly woman I know was hit and left in a snowbank by the beach several years back. The driver had to know they’d struck someone, but there was no caring demonstrated for someone else.
Would Westporters jump in like the heroes of Tucson to help? I’d like to think most of us would. So why not take action against vehicular mayhem? It’s not as dramatic, but eminently more avoidable.
The other day a middle-aged gal ran the red light at Main and King’s Highway without stopping, forcing me to slam on my breaks. When I flashed my lights she give me the finger.
When I was hit by a driver passing on my right where there was no lane as I was making a legal right turn a while back she shouted at me, “Oh great, now you’re going to make me miss my trainer at the gym.” She then she berated the responding officer with, “I know lawyers, and you’re going to be sorry if you cite me.” (PS: She was charged as being singularly at fault.)
Then there is the guy who apparently intentionally tried to run over a friend and me as we talked in the street in Saugatuck because we were blocking his access to the curb, where it was clearly marked “NO PARKING.” When I mentioned the sign he aggressively responded, “I pay $27,000 !@#$%^&* dollars a year in !@#$%^&* taxes in this !@#$%^&* town, and I can park any !@#$%^&* place I want to!”
Civility may be dead in large measure in Westport, but for the sake of our own protection we have got to get people galvanized into at least being aware that they are driving cars outweighing rhinos at speeds that would give a cheetah a nosebleed. We blithely talk about cars being lethal weapons in the abstract; here in town they are becoming just that.
It’s time for residents to form a committee and make recommendations; the first selectman to acknowledge the problem and have the Traffic Safety Commission do something, and for the Westport Police to get a game plan that ameliorates the problem.
Realistic solutions? Or is this an unsolvable problem? Click “Comments”; add your thoughts.