Be Careful Out There!

Just because you’re in a crosswalk, don’t think you’re safe.

On Tuesday a woman was struck by a car on Riverside Avenue, near Jr’s Hot Dog Stand.

As noted on WestportNow, one car stopped — legally, as it must — to let her cross. A very impatient driver drove around the stopped vehicle, hitting the pedestrian.

Office workers told WestportNow that the crosswalk has been the site of “numerous pedestrian accidents and near misses.”

The crosswalk on Riverside Avenue, at South Sylvan. It's pretty clearly marked.

The crosswalk on Riverside Avenue, at South Sylvan. It’s clearly marked.

It’s not the only one like that in town.

At the other end of town, the crosswalk between Goodwill and Stop & Shop is notorious for anyone trying to cross over to buy Westfair’s sushi or deli. Drivers who do stop there always worry about getting rear-ended by drivers flying by.

The crosswalk between Goodwill and (shown at the left) Stop & Shop.

The crosswalk between Goodwill and (shown at left) Stop & Shop.

A bit west, the crosswalk by Sasco Creek Village was where popular Westport schools custodian and Trader Joe’s worker Billy Ford was killed in December 2008.

That crosswalk now features a warning sign, with blinking lights. Unfortunately, they’re hard to see in daytime. So they might actually do more harm than good. Pedestrians may have a false sense of security after pushing the button.

The crosswalk where Billy Ford was killed now includes blinking lights on the right. They're hard to see -- but the white markings are not.

The crosswalk where Billy Ford was killed now includes blinking lights (right). They’re hard to see — but the white markings are not.

Bottom line: Pedestrians in marked crosswalks have the right of way. Drivers who see a pedestrian crossing — or about to cross — must stop.

But this is Westport. Our town is filled with Very Important Drivers. So pedestrians must expect the expected.

Like some asshat trying to go around a stopped vehicle, just to save 3 extra seconds.

18 responses to “Be Careful Out There!

  1. Roberta tager

    We need to post LARGE ViISIBLE SIGNS… This is a crosswalk town! You must drive slowly snd expect to stop'” Fines will be hefty. Or,
    No more crosswalks.

  2. Is asshat a word?

  3. Crosswalks on the Post Road are oxymorons. Any heavy pedestrian area should have a light. It’s the only thing most drivers understand.

  4. Bobbie Herman

    There really should be lights at those places. There have been too many pedestrians hit, and drivers just get worse and worse. I’ve stood in the crosswalk in front of the old Y and had drivers ignoring me. Do you know if the woman was seriously hurt? I hope not.

  5. Eric Buchroeder SHS '70

    The “I’m entitled” culture meets the “on-demand” culture. What you want, when you want it, with no waiting and no matter who/what gets in your way. Wait until Amazon starts drone delivery!!!!

  6. Carol Sampson

    I’ve been honked at by drivers when stopping at crosswalks in Westport. Unbelievable.

  7. Love the term “asshat,” and Bobbie is right – they need LIGHTS out there. I’ve lost count of the pedestrians killed on the Post Road at those crossings over the years. Then again, here in Westport, traffic lights themselves are often regarded as mere “suggestions.”

    I read a study that amazed me, it said the single biggest contributor to aggressive driving was leaving the house 5 or 10 minutes late.

  8. Susan Hopkins

    When is 3 seconds’ time EVER equivalent to human life? The presence of a person and/or animal in a crosswalk or street – period – calls for a full stop. Crosswalks/flashing lights be damned. Asshats of Westport: Call upon your better angels and Do The Right Thing!

  9. stein & Seaver r spot on, the only solution r lights, I contacted both Jonathan Steinberg & Joseloff on separate occasions about the need for a light between maple ave & buckley but unfortunately was ignored by both. @ night you can’t even see people crossing the road especially when their wearing dark clothing. there have been numerous occasions when I saw the pedestrian @ the last second and was able to avoid them. if I was driving faster or didn’t know I was approaching a crosswalk I could have easily hit them. crosswalks only provide a false sense of security for the pedestrian, u would have to be a fool to cross the post road unless all 4 lanes r clear.

  10. Craig Patton

    Almost every day, I cross Myrtle Avenue where it meets the Post Road. There are lights. There are crosswalks. On a regular basis, drivers go through the crosswalk behind or in front of me, my wife, my children. Drivers also slide slowly right at us, never bothering to stop, trying to keep moving until they can drive behind us. The issue is simple: too many drivers here violate all sorts of traffic laws because they choose to, not because they don’t know the laws, can’t see pedestrians, etc. They simply don’t care what the law is or consider whether someone might get hurt. Their need/desire to get somewhere faster (or to drive how they want to, not how someone tells them) outweighs both.

    • from the best of my knowledge the majority of the drivers who have killed pedestrians on the post road between maple ave & shake shack were not from Westport. So lets say in your fantasy land every Westport driver follows the law & stops for pedestrians @ crosswalks, how about out of town drivers who might not be aware of an oncoming crosswalk are you still going to put you & your family @ risk by crossing @ crosswalk just because you have the law on your side? I certainly wont & I will say it again, crosswalks without a traffic light in 2015 only provide a false sense of security & r just legal death traps.

      • If you’re responding specifically to me, read my post again. There are lights at the Post Road / Myrtle / Imperial intersection. There’s also a No Turn on Red sign that the drivers slide through.

        • unless the driver runs the red light I would assume it is safe to cross @ the crosswalk while the light is red. again let me ask why would anyone in their right mind try to cross a road when the traffic is moving, owe I forgot because the law is on my side because I am using a crosswalk.

          • I’ll try to be clearer. I cross Myrtle when Post Road traffic has the green. Post Road drivers turning onto Myrtle cut in front or behind or roll right up to me while I’m in the crosswalk. So, I am indeed in my right mind and not crossing a road that has a green light and traffic actively passing.

  11. Why was the driver not charged…and named?

  12. Police in Norwalk say a woman who was struck by a vehicle Friday night is facing charges, not the man who hit her. The incident occurred at the corner of Van Buren Avenue and Maple Street at around 11 p.m.
    Officials say the 27-year-old Stamford woman had just exited a bus when the man struck her while making a right turn. They say she was wearing dark-colored clothing at the time.
    News 12 is told the woman was taken to the hospital with injuries that were not considered life-threatening. She is being charged with unsafe use of highways.

  13. Lets face it folks- there is a rising tide of impatient, nasty and terrible drivers on the streets of every town and all the highways in the area.

    On the streets- The person who went around that stopped car probably thinks they are just a really nice person who just happened to hit someone. Think again- they decided the jerk who slowed down for some dumb reason in front of them is stupid and is just slowing them down. I am sure the thought never entered their mind maybe there was something slowing the guy in front – maybe like a duck or a person crossing the road at the intersection. “Oooops- So Sorry!!I I accidentally hit someone. Oh well!!”

    Lights at crosswalks definitely would go a long way to help with the cross walk problem. When someone is hurt at an unlighted crosswalk that by itself should be the highlight that there is a need for a traffic light at that crosswalk.

    On the highways– There is an equally horrible problem that is being ignored. Everyday on the Merritt and the Turnpike going to work in the morning or coming home at night, is an adventure. There are multiple asshats (great new word) that are racing, weaving and tailgaiting in heavy traffic. Doesn’t matter how fast traffic is moving- they have to be in front of YOU! It is totally mindless and dangerous for everyone.

    The truth about our highways is everyone is speeding- 60 to 65 on the Merritt is slow lane speed. 65 to 70 on 95 is slow lane and middle lane speed. The State Troopers are being realistic and ticketing the jerks who are going 75 and 80!! They need a few more unmarked police cruisers dedicated to catching and ticketing just the weavers and tailgaiters, hitting them with super large fines, impound their cars because the driver is a menace not fit to be on the road and then taking their licenses away on the spot – so they would have to go to the station house, call a cab or a friend to get a ride home – bet that would go long way to improving things in a hurry.

    Just sayin’