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I moved to Pagosa Country from Denver last summer — struck by the beauty, by the kind residents, and very nearly by several vehicles.
My office is a few doors down from The SUN, and I use the crosswalk by the Overlook multiple times a day. I’ve learned a couple things about main street traffic in my short tenure here: If you don’t start walking, cars will not stop, pedestrian crossing beacons flashing or not. If you do start walking, cars still don’t stop, pedestrian crossing beacons or not.
Last week, I had what was perhaps the worst of my close encounters. I pushed the button for the beacons, waited a moment to give any vehicles a chance to stop, and headed out. The coast was clear. I was wearing a bright pink sweater and was in the middle of the road when I found myself just about four feet from the front of an elderly woman’s car. I threw up my arms in distress and anger as her speeding car screeched to a halt. She mimicked my motion, mad that I held up her obviously important mission.
I don’t know if this woman was a visitor or a local, but I do know I’m tired of how many times I find myself unimpressed with and even afraid of our crosswalk.
The flashing beacons don’t help; maybe it’s time for signage in the middle of 160. Or maybe this city girl doesn’t understand the safe way to cross a street.
Monica W. Wamsley