Thank you to The Daily Progress for sharing the editorial of Oct. 28 advocating safer routes for people who walk and people who bike. The recognition that the road is a shared resource is important, and is making slow progress in the face of many decades of autocentric attitudes.
I hope that everyone takes note of the statistics showing that a disproportionate number of fatalities occur at night or away from an intersection. It would be easy to say: "We can fix it — don't bike or walk at night, and always go to the crosswalk." This response sees walking and biking as a recreational activity that can be scheduled around safe hours and safe routes.
When we change our perspective and look at walking and biking as transportation, not recreation, the answer changes. Many people who are on the roads in the dark cannot afford a car, are unable to drive or choose not to drive. They are often employed in low-wage jobs, with work shifts that start early or end late. Changing the time they walk or bike is not an option.
As for crosswalks: How many times do we see roads with crosswalks placed a half mile or more apart? Count, for example, the crosswalks on U.S. 29, which is lined with businesses that employ workers who might not be able to afford to drive a car.
Improvements to our transportation infrastructure that protect the safety of all our neighbors, not just those who drive, is an issue of social justice.
Terri J. Miyamoto