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Letter to the Editor

BY DI READERS | DECEMBER 01, 2010 7:20 AM

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Traffic and nighttime safety

My wife and I exercise at the new Campus Recreation & Wellness Center at Burlington and Madison Streets several times a week. The intersection of Court and Madison, where the main entrance for the facility is located, is poorly lit and uncontrolled in the north-south direction on Madison.

With the number of people coming and going there, and the number of small children coming from swimming lessons, I am surprised that no traffic control has been instituted at the intersection to permit pedestrians safe passage across Madison.

The intersection needs to be substantially better lighted, stop signs need to be installed, and the whole area in general must be better controlled.

As it is now, cars drive quite fast from Burlington down Madison and without a stop sign, see little if any need to stop for pedestrians in the crosswalk. Couple that with the predominance of dark, non-reflective clothing worn now — which makes people nearly invisible — and this is an accident waiting to happen.

Because the facility took nearly three years to build, and the increased foot traffic at the intersection was certainly expected, why hadn't the issue been addressed by the time the facility opened? Why, after months of operation, has nothing been done to improve the situation?

I have one other comment related to nighttime safety: I have observed that many, if not most, bicycles have no lights on them, front or back, and rely solely on reflectors for visibility. On more than one occasion, I have had a surprise when a "blacked-out bicyclist" has come zooming from one direction or another and not been visible until he is virtually in my headlights.

Please wear something which makes you visible and put lights on your bike, in the interest of your own safety.

Roger Christian
Iowa City resident


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