The picture to the left is the sign on the corner of Malvern and Bloomfield. The one in center is the traffic light on the south side of Bloomfield, opposite Malvern. The one of the right is the walk/don’t walk sign on the west-bound side of Bloomfield, which you would see if you were crossing Malvern at the crosswalk.
What does all this mean? It means that no matter what the time of day, be it 5 p.m. when there is traffic galore on Bloomfield, or 5 a.m. when the avenue is nearly deserted, ALL vehicles must STOP at the red traffic light and CANNOT make a right hand turn until the light is green. It means the pedestrians who are on Bloomfield Avenue and crossing Malvern have the right of way.
For most of us this is obvious. I’m going to go out on a limb and say that the majority of people in the community do follow the traffic laws, even when it is inconvenient. (I’ll admit I’ve moaned and groaned when I want to make a right onto Grove from Linden, but I can’t because it’s during school hours and right-hand turns on red are prohibited then.) The signs are there for a reason. The laws are in place for a reason.
Common sense, right?
Last week, a member of our community died while crossing Bloomfield. I don’t know all the details of this tragic hit-and-run, but I do know that we ALL need to take more caution when walking and driving through town. We ALL need to be alert and aware.
I took the above photos just this morning. I was out doing my morning walk. As you can see by the photos it was light out (although it was still dark when I started). I could hear a vehicle coming down Malvern as I headed west on Bloomfield. (I do have earbuds in when I walk, but traffic noise tends to drown out the music, which is a good thing as I need to be alert.) I had the right of way when crossing Malvern, but I used caution, which was a good thing. The white pick-up truck that came down the road not only turned on red, but didn’t even stop at the red light before proceeding.
The driver meant no malice. I’m sure he was in a hurry or distracted. It happens to all of us. But if I had not been alert, I could have been a statistic today.
I don’t mean to sound like a broken record. I know I’ve written about traffic issues before. But in light of recent events, I think it’s important to remind the entire community (pedestrians and drivers) to use caution. School is out and there are plenty of kids running around and not always paying attention to traffic. The weather is fine for early morning and late evening walkers. Be alert; take care. Hold back the impatience when at that traffic light or stop sign. I know we all have places to go and things to do. The world seems to be going faster and faster every day, but we need to slow down, for our own sake and for the sakes of those who are around us.
Beth Shorten is a life-long resident of Verona. For more than three years, she has been chronicling life here on her personal site, Bfth’s Boring Blog.