Speeding, distracted drivers are health, safety crisis

All Marietta residents and visitors owe a huge debt of gratitude to Council Representative Geoff Schenkel, Harmar advocates Jackson Patterson, AJ Smith and those they are working with to focus attention on the danger to pedestrians, bicyclists, children and the elderly on Franklin Street.

Unfortunately, the unsafe conditions on Franklin exist throughout Marietta. Anyone who walks or bicycles is keenly aware of the hazards.

Distracted drivers texting, talking and otherwise paying little attention to operating their motor vehicles threaten pedestrians daily. 20 were ticket for distracted driving in 2020.

Drivers misinterpreting 25 mph speed zones as 50 mph on Front Street, Ohio, Fourth, Spring–you name it–race at incredible and completely unsafe speeds. Many roar without working mufflers. I was asked yesterday if anyone ever is ticketed for speeding.

When the chief of police says with a straight face, Second and Scammel streets is the city’s most dangerous intersection, one can only ask, “Really?”

With drivers rolling stop signs, racing red lights and rarely using turn signals–including police–we have a city wide health and safety crisis.

It is not about just those struck by motor vehicles or near misses, it is about aggressive and distracted driver constant intimidation of pedestrians.

God help out of town visitors who mistakenly believe they have right-of-way in a crosswalks even with a traffic signal. Observe folks attempting to cross Front at Greene by the Lafayette Hotel. Many look like sprinters ready for a dash to avoid motor vehicles.

Thank you to all those investing time, energy and effort in focusing attention of Franklin Street safety issues.

Perhaps it will awaken those in power to discover and pay attention to citywide abuse by motorists of pedestrians and bicycles.

Think I’m kidding? Observe vehicles launching from Muskingum Drive down 25 mph Front Street or Washington Street below Cisler. 45-50 mph. Everyday.

This town has a health and safety crisis besides the coronavirus pandemic.

Roger G. Kalter



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