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Justin Wolff 8:30 a.m., June 16
Kudos to MTS Transit Police. I was over at CVS, 5th & C, picking up 2 prescriptions. When I left there, I crossed C and saw someone I had not seen in several years. We sat & gabbed while waiting for her trolley, almost 10 minutes & then she got on her trolley to head for home. I picked up my bags and headed for home. When I got home, I realized I had all my purchases EXCEPT my prescriptions. I grabbed the phone to call CVS, hoping I had left the bag in their waiting area. They couldn't find it. I then spoke to someone up front where I had paid for my other items, she did not find anything & it was not in lost & found. My next call was to MTS. The woman who answered said the best thing was to wait and check with lost & found the next day. I requested to speak to the MTS police office. The officer (?)was extremely nice even though he did not hold out any hope for finding my bag. He put me on hold and contacted the officers at the 5th & C station. He came back on the line saying "you are one lucky lady"!! An officer at the trolley station noticed the bag had been tossed in the trash, but the contents were visible and he saved the day by putting the prescriptions in a locker. I headed over to 5th & C, found the officer (withholding his name). He checked my ID & got my prescriptions for me. Amazing. It would have been a very big deal, probably taking more than a few days, to replace them & I would have had to pay again!! I explained that I like to bake and wondered if he would like some cookies! He immediately said chocolate chip! So, I will make some cookies as his reward.
Leaving a bag, or anything, at the 5th & C trolley station is a recipe for disaster. It is a very busy station with lots of people going to and fro. I certainly messed up but the MTS officer saved me.
I have been conducting an observational experiment/survey regarding pedestrians. It would not pass muster as 'scientific'!
Vehicles tend to not pay much attention to the people on the streets, unless there are groups of people crossing. I also found that the cars turning right on red, rarely look to see if there are any people in the crosswalk. I have had a few encounters with the right turn drivers. Just a few days ago, I was crossing G St., with the light. I was going south, on the west side of 10th when the Big SUV turned right, coming within an inch of hitting me. I stood there and stared at the driver, but she was trying to look anywhere else. She made no attempt to even ask how I was. I proceeded to cross and she spun her tires to get out of the area!!!!!!
Mostly what I've seen are "ballsy" pedestrians. I have questioned several people who crossed against the light. Most of them simply were in a hurry. Others said they looked and since there were no cars coming, they felt there was no reason to wait. The absolute worst place were the trolley stations. I went to several and the one with the most absolute "stupidity" was America Plaza followed by 5th & C, then 12th & Imperial. One guy told me, "that train was far enough away & I knew I could make it". I asked if he had considered the possibility of a fall, because the tracks & street could easily cause someone to trip. He looked at me like I was the crazy one. Then I saw the lady in a wheelchair, manually operated by her hands turning the wheels (not electric). She got a 'running' start and headed across the street with a trolley only a block away. The trolley driver was using the horn to get her attention, but she seemed to ignore it. She made it to the other side a few seconds before the trolley. What if the wheels got caught in the tracks? People are crazy and most of the ones I spoke to do not see a problem "jaywalking". Also, most of them were of the opinion that as long as they were in a crosswalk, even crossing against the light, they would not be at fault. The believe it is the law in California. One lady said that anyone could cross anywhere they wanted because pedestrians have the right of way! For some reason, 9th street seems to be a common cross anywhere place & it is also a place (9th & E) where there are many accidents. Not so long ago, a car traveling north on 9th, drove through a red light and hit a man. This man was legally crossing the street. This man was in a wheelchair! He got pinned up under the car's front end. There were several people around. They ran over and lifted the car up, holding it so the man could breathe. While this was going on, the driver was wandering around talking on his cell phone. When the paramedics arrived, the kindly strangers (mostly homeless persons) were able to set down the car. This accident was caused by a driver not paying attention. In this case, the man in the wheelchair was within his rights to cross.
The bottom line is that cars & trolleys are rarely at fault in a pedestrian vs. vehicle accident. People in San Diego think they can cross any street at any time, and this includes trolley tracks. They are wrong and they could get injured or get dead!!!
The couple in the pictures started to cross against the light & were rudely honked at by several drivers. Then they get across and proceed to cross 9th, not in a crosswalk and not even looking for traffic, which would be behind them.
More on pedestrians and the law in an upcoming blog. Our City (with CCDC at the helm) builds all these condos and expects people to be able to cross the streets in accordance with the law. There are plenty of people (we like to call them snowbirds) who live here only part time. I have talked to some of them who tell me they "go with the flow" crossing streets when they think it is safe, not necesarily in accordance with the lights.
Notice to pedestrians (and those in wheelchairs): at a lighted intersection, cross only when the light is green in the direction you are going, cross at crosswalks, never try to run across trolley tracks if you can see the trolley. Trolleys are very large, heavy, vehicles, what if you fall? what if a wheel gets stuck? The trolley will win & the human will lose EVERY time.