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Letter to Westfield: On Behalf of the Pedestrians, Please Take Care

A resident speaks out about pedestrian safety in town, as everyone braces for even more snow and ice coming this way.

Pedestrians in downtown Westfield on Saturday, Feb. 1.  Citizen Kelly Howard is speaking out on Facebook on behalf of walkers in town.
Pedestrians in downtown Westfield on Saturday, Feb. 1. Citizen Kelly Howard is speaking out on Facebook on behalf of walkers in town.
What's been your experience getting through town?  
Ed Minall February 04, 2014 at 01:05 PM
On behalf of the drivers: Pedestrians please wear something other than black or dark colors. Wear brighter colors, reflective vest/bands or some type of lighting and obey to pedestrian safety laws. Do not assume that a driver sees you and will stop. This time of the year presents additional hazards during prime pedestrian/commuter traffic. Common sense and best practices on both sides will make sure everybody returns home safely to their families.
Kelly Howard February 04, 2014 at 05:06 PM
I agree with you 100% Ed Minali. Both pedestrians and drivers need to obey the rules of the road as it applies to them, and to use common sense when it comes to the weather, road conditions and other pedestrians and vehicles. Sadly there is not enough enforcement being done of these laws.
Farleigh Linch Albertson February 05, 2014 at 10:15 AM
Pedestrians, PLEASE, do not expect cars to slam on their breaks to let you cross the street. The law requires a car to stop when you ARE IN THE CROSSWALK, not if you are on the sidewalk. You are not a human stop sign. The key here is the time and distance that's required to stop!!! You must still look left, right, and left again. I see so many people stepping out, expecting cars to come to a screeching stop.... Please, continue to teach your children how to cross a street safely, especially now with snow and ice on the roads.
Wally Westfield February 05, 2014 at 10:38 AM
excellent point FLA, Perhaps a couple jaywalking tickets issued by Westfield finest would help with this problem. Unfortunately it will be only a matter of time before someone gets hurt
Kelly Howard February 05, 2014 at 10:55 AM
Again, while I agree that BOTH pedestrians and drivers need to heed the rules of the road and basic common sense, the main point of my letter clearly is being missed. We have to look out for each other, not point blame of drivers or pedestrians. Safe passage whether it be sidewalks, crosswalks or roadways keeps pedestrians and drivers safe. If sidewalks are not cleared then pedestrians have the choice of tripping through snow and ice on YOUR property or in the street becoming a hazard to drivers. I understand that shoveling snow is no fun, I hate doing it too but I do it in spite of the fact that I have rheumatoid arthritis in my right shoulder and knees. It is especially no fun when the city plows snow back onto your sidewalk/driveway after you have cleared them, but it still has to be done by town and state law.
klubkleb February 05, 2014 at 11:03 AM
It'd also help if the sorry excuse for a DPW would actually do its job and clear the damned streets! Why are the main streets in neighboring towns cleared down to the black yet major streets in Westfield--Elm and Dudley and Rahway and Lawrence and Dorian and Westfield and Boulevard--were sheets of ice and hard-packed snow on Tuesday afternoon? The contrast with other towns and the county and dtate roads was remarkable--and embarrassing.
Wally Westfield February 05, 2014 at 12:07 PM
Maybe they can put a plow on the "Wonder Vehicle" when it returns from Hoboken !
Ed Minall February 05, 2014 at 07:13 PM
I feel that awareness would be a more productive approach over enforcement. Safety is contagious if it is made prevalent and embraced as part of culture. One way of making public awareness would be portable message boards.
2ndWave February 10, 2014 at 08:28 AM
Kelly Howard makes valid points about driver responsibility. However, I have to express my strongest agreements with Ed Minall and FLAlbertson: pedestrians also have a responsibility to exercise caution, and not be presumptuous about their right of way. Furthermore, the dangers are highly exacerbated after dark in this town: most of the roads in Westfield are very poorly lit.

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