I know, I know. Never write when you’re angry. Its been 24 hours since I came within inches of being hit by a car and now being upset has turned to anger. I, along with many, many others, are fed up with the whole near death experiences we suffer each day thanks to drivers. The following is a letter I submitted to the Chief of Police, City Council, The Police Services Board and the Traffic Management Unit:
November 30, 2019
London Police Services
Office of The Chief, Traffic Management Division
Re: Pedestrian Safety
I write this in the hopes its draws attention to an on-going issue as it relates to pedestrian safety. To preface this letter, I am a person with a disability, currently (temporarily) limited to a wheelchair. Most times, I am able to walk on two prosthetics. I am an advocate for the those with disabilities and lobby hard for barrier free accessibility in this city. I also want to say upfront that I appreciate budgets, staffing and limited resources. I am not blaming the police for this situation, rather the public. I am looking to the LPS to assist and crack down.
As you are aware, drivers in London have become insanely dangerous. In my 53 years, I’ve never seen it this bad. I live on Oxford and Maitland and see dangerous, careless driving each day. As a pedestrian, this is particularly alarming. Drivers refuse to stop at stop signs, especially at side streets such as Maitland and William. I’m sure this is a similar situation all over the city. What is troubling is that often, the drivers not only do not stop, but only look to the left when turning right, failing to check for pedestrian traffic in the other direction. The “make eye contact” before crossing is a challenge when the drivers themselves don’t look.
Yesterday, I came within inches from being hit while crossing Oxford and Waterloo. A driver turning left failed to check for pedestrian traffic and had to slam on her brakes in order to stop from hitting me. Just another example of the terrible driving I’m seeing. Drivers are speeding, failing to adhere to traffic signals and stop signs, drive dangerously, fail to signal before changing lanes…. the list goes on and on. In my 32 years driving, I’m stunned at what I’m seeing. On a daily basis, I’m hearing or reading stories about pedestrian safety put at risk.
I am requesting that LPS places some consideration into a full on, hard core blitz of poor and dangerous driving in this city in an effort to enforce the message that drivers need to follow the rules of the road. I’m fed up with thinking that each day when I leave my home, I may die, despite my own efforts to travel safely. I appreciate that resources may be limited and that other issues become a priority, but pedestrian safety needs to be a addressed. Too many close calls out here.
Thank you for your consideration.
Enough is enough. I encourage everyone affected by this issue to do the same. Reach out to your councillor, the Police Services. Maybe, just maybe, we can see some action.
And while I’m at it, I’ve been lobbying for a pedestrian crossover on Oxford between Colborne and Adelaide and this request through Phil Squire and the City has been moving at a snail’s pace. I’m asking everyone who is on board with this to email Phil Squire (email@example.com) and Arielle Kayabaga (firstname.lastname@example.org) to demand/request an expedited review and installation of the crossover. Its dangerous out here folks!