Safety is prime importance
When people are in danger simply crossing the street, and they are doing the sensible thing and crossing at a crosswalk, what is a community to do?
That’s the question facing Milford selectmen and police officials who were approached by employees of The Elms Center, a facility on Elm Street across from the Milford ambulance bay. Many of The Elms’ employees park in spaces at the Share center behind the ambulance bay and use the crosswalk to get there. One of them was recently struck by a car.
According to the employees, vehicles fail to stop for people in the crosswalk, and sometimes don’t even stop for ambulances. Signs in the area are not adequate, the employees said, and they want town officials to do something. But what?
Some possible solutions were discussed, among them eliminating that crosswalk and having Elms employees walk up to the light at West Street. There, presumably, cars stop because there is, after all, a very visible traffic light. That doesn’t sound like a bad idea, except that not everyone is equipped to walk even that short distance, and there is always the issue of potentially icy sidewalks.
One innovative solution is s system of orange crossing flags that folks would pick up, wave about as they cross, and carry to the other side of the street, where, presumably, they would be used in the same manner by people crossing the other way. We like that idea, but wonder if the flags wouldn’t be stolen by incredibly stupid people who have concern only for themselves. Then what? Keep replacing flags? One would presume.
Well, officials have sent this problem to Milford’s Traffic Safety Committee, which is as it should be. That’s why the committee exists, to solve problems like this. And we wish it luck, because the problem isn’t with the folks crossing the street or with the crosswalk or with the signs.
The problem is with drivers who either don’t care if they nearly hit someone or are distracted. Short of putting a police officer on that crosswalk day and night, there isn’t much officials can do about such drivers.
But we, like the employees of The Elms, will await the report from the Traffic Safety Committee.