The only thing you can do to fix this issue is to upgrade the system, true. I see near misses on a daily basis. The worst ones for me personally are when there is a clear view of the people crossing and people just don’t stop (cellphone users, nose pickers and just plain idiots).
First of all, the “no parking/no stopping” yellow stripes on the curb are too short, everywhere. Any SUV (let alone pickup truck) parked (legally) besides a crossing will completely obscure the view up until you are 10 feet from the pedestrian crossing even if you’re going at speed limit. Mix that with pedestrian not looking before they cross, you got a recipe for disaster. Either ask people to drive 20km/h or give more space between parking and crossing so we can see people from further. I try to drive 20 but even then from 1st Street to 8th, I seem to attract people walking, looking down at their phones, making a B-Line from seemingly going straight to turning straight in front of my car, looking surprised I couldn’t just guess that they were interested in turning onto live traffic.
Second, I see so many people parked in those short yellow zones, someone needs to give them tickets. Nobody cares you went in for a quick bottle of water. Nobody cares you didn’t have time to walk a half a block to find parking. No means no. Ticket, tow. While talking about tickets, someone needs to tell the authority in town that there is a gold mine into sitting at a school zone and catch those nascar drivers zooming by on a daily basis doing 50+. I dare you to sit at Charles Hays and Conrad and look at how many maniacs just don’t g*** a s*** about (perhaps) your kid. I also would like to see a little more than a Police Officer, once in a blue moon, with binoculars trying to catch phones users. It’s a pestilence in this town. Not a day goes by without seeing TENS of people with their heads buried in their crotch with a thumb in their *** at the wheel, taking a turn or zooming by a mother and stroller trying to cross but having to take a step back because death is upon them.
Third, it’s dark here. Most of the time. The rain and early dark nights seem to swallow the lighting in this town. And most of all, most people love to dress in dark colors. On a dark and wet night, I can barely see the yellow lines, white lines, pedestrian crossing lines and pedestrians that are starting to cross. We need reflective lines, flashing lights and good lighting at those crossings.
Last and probably least, it’s raining here, all the time. Some people are in a hurry because they’re getting wet and cross where there is no crossing. Some others are just lazy, crossing like deers in a headlight even on clear day (deers tend to be more aware than some people I’ve seen in town). In any case, most cities I’ve visited have covers for “heavier” (ahem ahem) commercial zones. Not sure if it’s a city thing of just common courtesy from business owners, but it should be mandatory to extend roofs or at least a form of cover halfway down the sidewalk. How annoying is it to walk along 3rd avenue and get completely wet walking a block, then having to cross but be forced to wait because you know people can’t see you at 4 pm on a December 7th afternoon, when it’s dark and a truck is parked besides the crossing.
The lack of structure in the system creates drivers that lack discipline. That’s a fact for anything as far as I’m concerned. Some drivers suck but they seem to suck less when they are forced to pay attention. Or maybe I’m completely wrong.