How pedestrians can help balance city budget
Last week Wednesday, Gazette reporter Frank Schultz told about the problem of pedestrian-crossing signs placed in the middle of South Main Street near Hedberg Public Library and Olde Towne Mall being repeatedly abused by drivers. Repair costs vary from $100 to $500.
That prompted a Thursday story by Channel 3’s Margo Spann. Her story got me thinking about a grand way to prevent any future increases in city property taxes.
Just have a police officer stationed in his squad car near any busy crosswalk in the city and ticket those who ignore pedestrians. Spann says police here told her the citation for failure to stop for a pedestrian includes a fine of more than $230.
Imagine how quickly those fines could mount into thousands and even millions of dollars.
I know I’ve written about this in my blog previously, but one of those pedestrian signs with the spring-mounted base used to be in the middle of Milwaukee Street at Parker Place. It finally was removed because repairs were too frequent and costly.
I use that crosswalk about four times each weekday, and I’m almost always ignored by motorists zipping down Milwaukee Street. Even squad cars have passed me without stopping. I see older drivers, men and women, ignoring me as if I weren’t standing there, and I know they’d expect me to stop if it were them waiting to cross.
It’s rare when someone will stop, and when a car does, the driver risks being piled into from behind by the hasty, impatient and often inattentive motorists behind them.
Maybe I’m wrong, but I consider Janesville anything but pedestrian friendly. Would piles of tickets make motorists friendlier? Think it could really solve the city’s budget bind?