Walter Mencken 4 p.m., May 3
- Community Blog
Channel 7, NBC, has been doing "noise" reports on life in San Diego. Artie Ojeda is the reporter. I sent him a few suggestions, emphasizing the rooftop bar scene. There are so many things that contribute to the overall 'noise' of the City, some necessary (police, fire, ambulance sirens, garbage trucks, road fix-it crews, trolleys, trains, the post office loading dock) and many that are controllable (car horns, car alarms, lunch wagon horns, loud music, late night yelling by the "we just left the bar" crowd, inconsiderate neighbors playing music or TV way too loud, gas powered leaf blowers, & many more).
San Diego City government, along with CCDC & CCAC, keep approving more and more construction. There are currently hundreds of unsold, unoccupied condos in the downtown & East Village areas. The frenzied building activity directly affects the downtown residents' lives. We have virtually lived in a construction zone for 10+ years. It seems that "Paradise in Progress" and others failed to give adequate consideration to the increase in pedestrian traffic. Many vehicle drivers do not even look for people crossing the streets. This is especially true with cabs & those ill-conceived pedicabs.
Also, the pedestrians themselves are the cause of many problems. So many are walking around with ear-phones (they seem to be talking to themselves), cell phones (an inconvenient convenience), talking to others, etc. I have seen people walk out into the street when there is an emergency vehicle coming. Others seem to believe that the trolley can't possibly hit them. To run across in front of an oncoming trolley is just plain stupid. What if you trip? These are huge, heavy vehicles that cannot possibly stop in time to avoid persons running across right in front of them. So, the problem involves all. I have read letters in the U-T from visitors complaining about jaywalking tickets. Well, the ticket is far better than being hit by a car, bus, trolley, etc. The collective "we" need to be much more attentive when walking or driving in the City. Never ASSUME!!! The driver in that car you are stepping in front of may be eating, applying make-up, talking on the phone, etc. Ever hear Better safe than sorry??? That certainly applies to pedestrians in San Diego. Recently, a woman ran over to a bus & pounded on a window, hoping to get the driver to stop (an assumption). It was not a bus stop for this particular bus route. The woman was screaming and she nearly got hit by a car as she stood in the street cursing at the bus driver. The buses and trolleys have schedules and only stop at designated sites.
Another problem, bicycles. Many cyclists obey the laws (they are subject to the rules of the road), but LOTS of downtown cyclists do as they please. Often riding on the sidewalks and expressing anger if people do not move out of their way.
Then there are the skateboards. These are actually dangerous as there is no stop mechanism. The mainly young men on the wheeled, flat board, come barreling down the sidewalk, often jumping off the board to avoid a collision. Then the board goes flying, often into the street. The rider then runs after his board, disrupting traffic and putting his own life in danger. The downtown area should be a skateboard free zone.
As the briefing officer used to say on Hill Street Blues, Let's be careful out there.