Earlier this week, a local resident suffered injuries when crossing Burkitt Street near the Sheridan County Courthouse. As news spread of the accident, few didn’t shake their heads and comment on how scary that intersection really is.
As drivers in this community, we’ve nearly all witnessed close calls — both with other cars and cars and pedestrians. One courthouse employee even noted that she and her coworkers tend to cross the street in groups to be more visible to drivers in that area.
While local law enforcement said there has been just one accident at that intersection this year — the one earlier this week — most local residents know that the corner of Burkitt and Brooks streets has caused more than one eyebrow to raise.
Drivers in the area tend to cruise above the posted speed limit. If they are crossing Burkitt, they also make quick moves to beat traffic. Sometimes those breaks are a little tight, and often drivers aren’t necessarily looking for pedestrians. We all could be better drivers.
In addition, pedestrians in the area should be on the lookout. If you’ve walked near that intersection or tried to cross the street there, you likely know that during certain times of day you need to walk quickly.
Sure, there is a pedestrian light that alerts drivers to your presence, but that doesn’t mean the pedestrian shouldn’t look both ways before crossing and ensure their own safety, too.
Now, that isn’t to say any of those involved in the pedestrian vs. vehicle incident earlier this week were negligent in these areas. Accidents happen. But, to protect ourselves and those around us, let’s all work a little harder to be better local travelers.
And while officials have said that intersection has been looked at in the past, and the pedestrian crossing seemed like a reasonable solution, it may be time to reexamine the safety of that area for pedestrians.