Our inbox and mailbox have been filled recently with letters from our readers regarding pedestrian safety and traffic on our streets and the beach bike path. All seem to recognize the need for greater enforcement and possible design changes to enhance safety. We agree. But what has us concerned is the sustained animosity between bikers, drivers and pedestrians.
All three groups continue to point the proverbial finger at one another, placing blame but rarely offering reasonable solutions. This acrimony is not needed during this critical time when city officials are working to enact elements of the Land Use and Circulation Element, which will dictate development in Santa Monica for the next 20 years or more. The LUCE includes plans to make our streets safer for both bikers and pedestrians.
We all need to understand that bickering will not protect another person from being struck and killed. Enough with the harmful rhetoric. Everyone — pedestrians, bikers and drivers — need to stop with the distractions and pay closer attention to their actions. By following the rules of the road, and that includes cyclists who run red lights and stop signs as well as drivers on cell phones and pedestrians who Jaywalk, we can cut down on accidents. Enforcement is needed, but people also must pay attention and stop worrying about what errands or chores have to be done that day. If you’re driving, riding or walking, be focused on the task at hand. It sounds simple enough, but it isn’t happening.