By Aida Basnight-Peery
As a Street Sense vendor selling papers between 14th K and I Street, there have been quite a few near accidents by drivers. Pedestrians really need to be more observant of their surroundings even though they have the right of way to cross the street. Washington DC, (I think), is probably the only city that drivers can make a right turn on a red light in front of them while pedestrians have the right to cross the street on a green light. This is a problem not only on 14th K and I put throughout the city of D.C. I let more pedestrians can say as well I can say how many times they have missed a crossing because of impatient right turn drivers are quick to make a right turn on a red light while a pedestrian is in the right of crossing the street on green? I say we ban the right turn on red altogether.
I also propose that during rush hour in Washington DC that the only vehicles that should be on streets are buses, police cars, secret service. Because you have plethora of drivers in D.C., Maryland, Virginia and out-of-towners simply don’t know the rules of the roads or read the signs that are posted on light poles. If I can see them as a pedestrian and Driver, why is it those drivers can’t see it? So, do I assume that some drivers just don’t care because they are in a hurry to get to their destination or they are just plain frustrated trying to find a parking place on the street of not having to pay the high fees of PMI? Just a couple of weeks ago a truck driver was standing in the middle of the road on 14th and I street NW waiting to make a left turn on a “One Way” street sign with an arrow pointing the opposite direction of him turning. Everyone from pedestrians, drivers blowing their horns at the truck didn’t get the signal and makes the turn anyway into a one way. Thank God, the other cars slow down to allow the idiot to move on. That could have been a horrible accident with many lives lost. Another woman did the same thing with pedestrians hollering at her from 15th and I street who makes a right turn on a one way street and is in the same lane as the Suburban Buses and Metro Buses are in. Believe me she was real lucky that evening because she finally realized she was driving in the wrong direction.
I also propose that rush hour to be extended from 7 AM to 3 PM to 5 AM to 11 PM or have more D.Dot officers on every busy corner in Washington D.C. By those hours there should be less traffic and pedestrians that would be walking on the streets during those hours.