Letters to the editor

Advice for those pedestrians who cross busy streets

The crosswalks of Ashland have been a tragedy waiting to happen for a long time. It's a shame it has taken a death to begin the discussion. The responsibility for crosswalk safety is given to the pedestrian, the driver and the city. We all have to take responsibility in whatever capacity that we find ourselves in.

As an SOU student I always parked across Siskiyou Blvd and had to cross at the crosswalks. Anyone who would step into a crosswalk while cars are still moving is asking for trouble. Never set foot into a crosswalk until all cars a stopped. Not even once. Make eye contact with drivers to be sure that everyone understands what's going on.

As a driver, I consider that stretch of Siskiyou dangerous as well. If I am in the right hand lane and cannot see a pedestrian crossing from the left across the opposite lane. Even if the pedestrian has an orange flag, how can one see through a huge SUV or truck in the left lane next to you? If it is in the process of stopping, I cannot see its brake lights since I am not behind that vehicle. Surprise, a pedestrian right in front of my car! That's why it is imperative for pedestrians to wait till All cars are stopped.

And lastly, the city needs to respond to this with common sense solutions. Having a crosswalk on every corner obviously is creating problems. We need to funnel foot traffic to a few less crossings and concentrate on making them safe.

A pedestrian light with buttons to push to alert drivers is one solution. We all stop for traffic signals. Bob Walker's suggestion in his Feb.28 letter to make them solar, will save on cost. Constant flashing lights could work too. However, if there are flashing lights everywhere, drivers will proceed cautiously but may still not see that pedestrian emerge from behind the truck in the next lane.

Let's all take responsibility and stop blaming the other person for this. It is a problem and needs a solution from all of us.

Suzy Birster Hudson

Major applause for local theaters

An ovation is in order to Peter Alzado, Oregon Stage works and Ashland Children's Theatre for presenting two free performances of CATCH on Feb. 11 and 12. CATCH addresses the prevention, contraction and issues surrounding the HIV virus.

The play is geared towards teens and young adults. It was given life by the astute direction of Eve Smyth, the perceptive producer, Kate Sullivan and the gifted cast, Orion Bradshaw, Justin Williams, Shayana Marie, Autumn Aloiau and Jackson Campbell.The excellent lighting and sound were provided by Tyler Malovoz.

All donated their time, expertise and creativity to make the production possible. One of the teens in the audience told me later, "I didn't know that stuff about AIDS, I went home and talked about it with my mother." Peter Alzado didn't hesitate when I brought him this project.

I would like to thank him for his graciousness and gumption in tackling a play that is centered on a sensitive subject. As Vaclac Havel, former President of Czechoslovakia wrote "Theatre is a means of giving concrete shape to our hope. It is precisely what will show humankind the way toward tolerance, mutual respect, and respect for the miracle of being."

If CATCH preserves one person "being" then it is validated. The national infection rate for HIV for teens is two per hour. There is a responsibility to get the word out to our young people. Thank you all at Oregon Stage Works for making this possible.

Rose-Mary Harrington

Pedestrians have an obligation to alert drivers

A letter to the editor was sent a few months ago in regard to this issue. As I remember, the writer had lived in a town similar to Ashland and people were experiencing the same problem with vehicle and pedestrian traffic. The writer had said that signs were made in bold lettering at the crosswalks for the pedestrians, STOP, LOOK, WAVE. This makes great sense. Pedestrians, you've got to be seen and acknowledged before entering the crosswalk!

Bev Curran

Pedestrians should take responsibility for their own safety

After nearly being struck by a car that was turning across a crosswalk, I realized that I was wearing all-dark clothing and might have been difficult to see. I think this may be a contributing factor in many pedestrian-automobile encounters. I suggest that pedestrians attempt to wear at least one bright- or light-colored article of clothing to make themselves more visible &

both day and night. In addition, drivers could increase the visibility of their cars by using headlights at all times of the day in areas where there is a lot of foot traffic. Be seen. Be safe.

Trish West

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