Slow your roll, drivers -- there are walkers about

  • Published
  • By Mike Pierson
  • Air Force Space Command Public Affairs
I won't walk on your car if you don't drive on my feet. Deal?

I like to walk. Fresh air, sunshine and exercise without the need to shower or wear spandex.

Peterson Air Force Base, as it turns out, is a remarkable place for walking. The base's tree-lined streets are almost universally equipped with well-maintained sidewalks. Well-marked crosswalks, complete with warning signs, allow pedestrians and drivers to safely interact.

Or, that's the way it would work, if some drivers had a little respect for all walkers.

On a recent walk between my office and the Aragon Dining Facility, I arrived at the corner of Otis Street and West Stewart Avenue. Waiting at the crosswalk between Ent Federal Credit Union and the Air Force Band facility, I enjoyed the parade of cars blithely passing me by as I patiently waited to cross.

I waited. And waited. Cars passed by, oblivious to my growing impatience and hunger.

I recently read a study that pedestrians who stared down drivers were 50 percent less likely to be hit in a crosswalk than walkers who did not make eye contact. Removing my cheap sunglasses, I tried that technique ... without success. I would have been on the unfortunate side of the 50 percent in the study.

Should I just step into the crosswalk and dare the drivers to risk a citation?

A wise man once said: "If you are run down legally crossing a street in a well-marked crosswalk, you will be in the right. And, you will be dead."

No lunch at the DFAC was worth ending up as a bug splat on the bumper of someone's F-950 pickup.

Perhaps there was something on today's Club menu that precluded stopping for a pedestrian? Free golf carts at the Silver Spruce Golf Course, perhaps? I don't know what put everyone in such a rush, but it wasn't the first time I had to play "Human Frogger" to cross a base street.

Look, all I'm asking is that you slow down, signal pedestrians that you've seen them and intend to let them pass, and -- if needed -- stop to allow walkers to cross the street. In return, we pedestrians promise to use the crosswalks, stay on the sidewalks where they exist and to stop texting while we walk.

It'll keep you off my feet and me off your hood. Deal?