Crossing Lake Park Blvd Like Taking Life In Own Hands

By / Letters to the Editor / Wednesday, 12 August 2015 04:00

Dear Editor,
Do you ever try to cross Lake Park Blvd. and feel like you are taking your life in your hands?  Do you watch helpless visitors loaded down with beach chairs, umbrellas, coolers and kids trying to find a break in traffic and run for it? Sometimes I feel like our Pleasure Island pedestrians are engaged in an all too real game of "Frogger".   The only problem is, it's not a video game.  It's very real, and it's a negative to life on our island.
It's sunny and warm here almost everyday and places are not that far apart from one another.....it seems like an enjoyable and logical idea to walk to places. And of course, for most of us to get to the beach, it's unavoidable to have to cross the main road. Unfortunately, it seems that most people driving cars down Lake Park Blvd either don't know or don't care that the painted crosswalks are there to help pedestrians cross the street safely.  And in order for them to do so, that means that cars need to stop to allow them to cross.  I see the signs...."relax this ain't the mainland".  Well, we don't always act like it.  It seems drivers are in too big a hurry, in their air conditioned vehicles, to stop and allow a family, carrying beach chairs and umbrellas, with small children in tow, in the 90 degree blazing sun, to cross the street.....in the designated crosswalk! 
I find it disheartening to continuously observe the lack of courtesy drivers extend to pedestrians.
Of course, to assume that people are going to change their behavior without being stimulated to do so would be naive. So I do have a few suggestions to tackle this problem. 
First, talk about it to the locals and visitors.  Make conversation, or if you find yourself stopped at a crosswalk to allow someone to pass and the oncoming stream of cars don't even slow down-wave your hand out the window, point, or beep to help them see the error of their ways (like I did twice yesterday). 
As for local government intervention, it seems that we need to put up more signs alerting drivers to the fact that it is State Law to yield to pedestrians in the cross walk.  Because apparently, when people see that yellowish green triangle pointing to the crosswalk, they don't understand that they are meant to actually stop for people to cross. 
I've only seen a couple of places on the island where those triangle pictures have accompanying instructions that it is state law to yield to pedestrians. 
This needs to be spelled out at every crosswalk.   Putting them up would make our island safer, our drivers more considerate and give pedestrians some peace of mind when trying to enjoy this island by foot. 
I would assume this would need to be coordinated between local governments and State DOT.   If improved signage is not possible, then perhaps our local police officers could increase monitoring the situation and offer drivers warnings and some education on the law when appropriate.
We live in such a special place, but it can be better.  This is one small way to show our Southern Hospitality to both our local neighbors and our seasonal visitors.
Sincerely,
Carla Ann Drummond
Kure Beach, NC

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Carolina Beach North Carolina

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