Pedestrians beware — South Street is dangerous

Editor of the Reformer:

Thanks to the town for repaving South Street. What a great new pavement you've given us — with dressed edges and upgraded culverts, even. Thanks to the crews and their managers for their careful work. This narrow (no sidewalks) and heavily traveled road sorely needed it.

Local users — resident drivers, cyclists, and of course pedestrians — seem to coexist pretty well. Unfortunately, I think we are already beginning to see through traffic revert to its old habit: speed in excess of the postings of 25 mph.

I suggest three traffic-calming steps for our increasingly residential street: Additional speed limit signs spread out as reminders; recurring deployment of an electronic speed indicator; and police deployment on an unpredictable schedule.

Finally, in hopes of saving pedestrians from magical thinking that may kill them, I urge the town to develop a simple sign for streets without sidewalks: "Walk on left facing traffic." South Street is dangerous. It's steep, narrow — and populated by possibly distracted drivers who may be in silent hybrid vehicles. Keep left; if you walk on the right, you'll never see (or, if you're wearing ear buds, you'll never hear) the silent bicycle, the weaving car or the oversize load coming down — or up — behind you in your lane. Look oncoming drivers in the eye and let them know that you see they could kill you. Be prepared to step off the pavement.


May our road and its travelers live forever.

Orion M. Barber II, Brattleboro, Sept. 14