Drivers shouldn't be blamed for traffic problems on Chestnut

Posted: Jan. 25, 2013 10:54 am Updated: Feb. 15, 2013 12:15 pm


To The Herald-Whig:

I am interested in the discussion about traffic control between 20th and 18th streets on Chestnut that have been in the news recently.

Since I have family living in this area, I travel this street almost daily at all hours of the day and night, and understand the traffic problems of this area.

Chestnut is the only remaining through street from 30th to Second on the north side of town from Broadway to Locust. It is a snow emergency route and also leads to two factories and a conference center in the vicinity of 28th and Chestnut. So it has a high volume a traffic.

It has been suggested that 20th Street become a four-way stop or speed be reduced to 20 mph along this section. Instead, flashers like the ones on Broadway by the hospital could be put up warning motorists of pedestrians. It also has been suggested by some that there is speeding on this street. If that is the case, then the street needs to be monitored and the speed limit enforced.

One of the biggest problems is the parking along Chestnut between 20th and 18th. Many cars are parked there and people will suddenly open their car doors and hop out of their cars without paying any attention to passing vehicles.

Beside parking, a serious concern is jaywalking. Often times I see people walk out into the street between parked cars and cross in front of moving vehicles in the middle of the block and they entirely disregard traffic. Apparently, they feel they have the right to do these things in this area and seem to have no respect for traffic.

The parking lot that is across the street from the dorms on Chestnut creates another concern. The location is very inconvenient. Instead of alleviating the parking problem on Chestnut, students continue to park on the street, and in fact, the danger has increased because it causes students who do park in the lot to jaywalk. It is particularly difficult at night, when there are more pedestrians out and it is harder to see them crossing the street anywhere they want.

I don't know what the answer is to this problem, although, lately the situation seems to have become better. I do know, however, from personal experience, that pedestrians need to have more respect for traffic on this very busy street. The majority of them are old enough to take responsibility for their actions. They must be held accountable and need to understand that seriousness of jaywalking or walking into the street between parked cars. Surely, something can be done without disrupting normal traffic flow and drivers should not be blamed for these problems.


Gearold Whitaker