February 7, 2023
Ithaca, NY | 24°F


Letter to the Editor: Heads up, everyone!

The recent tragic casualties in our community that resulted from collisions between pedestrians and motor vehicles give us an opportunity to reflect on our personal safety on local sidewalks
and streets.

The Ithaca NY area can be a difficult place to get around. Pedestrians and motorists alike are challenged by steep slopes, slippery surfaces, sharp curves and limited visibility. We must be especially careful during difficult winter conditions. Existing challenges are amplified by a growing tendency to drive and walk while distracted by mobile electronic devices. We may be aware of the risk in distracted driving, but what about distracted walking?

One of our earliest childhood lessons is to look both ways before crossing the street. We have slipped in our commitment to this age-old rule as we have become distracted by the pixels in the palms of our hands. Motorist-pedestrian collisions are on the rise nationwide. It takes all of us — motorists, cyclists and pedestrians — to be aware of the risks we face while we travel.

We have an opportunity and a responsibility to double-check ourselves and our surroundings while we travel on our local roads and sidewalks. Defensive driving, riding and walking are what will keep us safe. Safe passage requires everyone’s undivided attention.

Jake Brenner, on behalf of the Safety Awareness Committee, a group of faculty, staff, and students devoted to safety in our community.