More courtesy needed on the road

January 11, 2011

Comes as no surprise that Glendale ranks lowest in senior pedestrian safety ("City gets another poor pedestrian safety score," Jan. 8).

I know — in addition to being a driver, since moving to Glendale, I have increased walking to my appointments and errands. (It really is great not to have to hassle with parking spaces and complex meters!) So I have a couple of suggestions for both pedestrians and drivers, based on personal experiences.


Please cross at crosswalks. I know it's easier at our age to cut steps, but don't assume cars aren't coming. They come out of nowhere!


Do make eye contact at crosswalks with drivers. They may be talking hands-free, or singing with their music and never see you. And don't assume they will stop just because of a stop sign.

When cars are backing out of garages and driveways, please stop until they see you. You may be on the sidewalk, but if the driver has a blind spot (like my garage has) I may not see you until too late, no matter how slowly I am going.


Please be alert to some of the situations I mentioned above.

A stop sign is not a place to turn a page, reset GPS or hug your seatmate. Look up so pedestrians can make eye contact. (And the sign does mean stop.)

It is OK to let walkers proceed even if you get there first.

Be aware that bike riders may feel more safe on sidewalks than streets, and they may just be zipping along to make the crosswalk. They move faster than a walker, so be alert.

Even if there is a walk light, older folks don't move as quickly as some of our lights are set — please give them time. You'll be unable to drive someday too!

The law says holding a phone up to your ear is illegal — really!

All of the above are just common sense and good judgment. It's unfortunate that we have to employ police officers to perform sting operations — I really do like the bunny and saw him on one of my driving forays.

Can't we all just be a bit more courteous?

Camille Levee


Editor's note: Levee is executive director of Glendale Healthy Kids.

Listen to scientists rather than Fox News

I take strong exception to Allen Brandstater's rant ("Counterpoints to Teahan's column," Jan. 4) about climate change and the "raising of hands by academics who depend on government grants for their livelihood."

Huge corporations that want to protect their bottom line have taken a page from the tobacco industry's multi-decade effort to deny that tobacco smoke is harmful. So bogus researchers are hired to spread doubts about climate change, and shills like Fox News spread disinformation disguised as news stories, which evidently is where Brandstater gets his information.

Congressional votes are bought with lavish campaign contributions. Then there are the religious fundamentalists who don't believe in climate change "because it's not in the Bible."

I find it extremely depressing that scientists worldwide are documenting truly frightening changes in Earth's climate that could be reversed if the world's nations had the willpower. Unfortunately, scientific voices disappear into a swamp of greed and ignorance. Residents of island nations that are slipping into the rising sea cry out desperately, but they are also ignored.

Steven Asimow


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