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Norene Roberts: Agrees with letter about 'oblivious' Smith students crossing Route 9

Do not walk sign at crosswalk

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To the editor:

In response to the letter of Nov. 12, “Smith College students need to open their eyes to traffic,” I resoundingly second the request.

I rarely drive after dark, but coming back from Holyoke one recent afternoon, I hit Northampton at 4:40 to 4:50 p.m. past Old South Street and the Smith College campus on Route 9 headed north.

There is a huge, constant and potentially lethal problem. Drivers can’t see pedestrians crossing the street, any street, any intersection. With headlights very bright, students garbed in black with no reflectors on their clothing, and the sun setting to the west casting dark shadows, walkers cannot be seen.

Students and pedestrians are not necessarily reckless; they are oblivious and feel entitled to cross because of our traffic laws.

Right-of-way laws need to be changed. Yes, and more needs to be done in the way of a public information campaign.

Thank goodness I didn’t hit any of them as I crept along at 12 mph, peering into the dark. This situation is many another accident waiting to happen.

Norene Roberts

Williamsburg

Related

Chris Landry: Smith College students need to open their eyes to traffic

Thursday, November 14, 2013

To the editor: One of the tricks I’ve developed for coping with modern life is thinking of all Northampton pedestrians as kindergarten students. The lady with the yoga mat not looking where she’s going? That guy talking on his phone as he steps out into traffic? When I think of them as six-year-olds it helps me expect the unexpected. But … 1

I have often thought that Smith College should employ High School students from Smith Voke to serve as crossing guards during the dim rush hour that occurs during this season.

It's UMass students too. I've had students walk right out into traffic with their heads down texting or reading. I recently saw one student not even break stride, walk out into flowing traffic - just past dusk - and hold up his hand like he was Darth Vader or something to stop the oncoming traffic - oncoming traffic that had virtually no visibility of him until he was right in front of them.

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