Tuesday, July 5, 2011

Roadside Memorial

For my son and me, vacation began with a few days in Raleigh, my home town. I drove when I lived there, but now I am on foot, and Raleigh - especially North Raleigh - is not very pedestrian friendly. Still, when we found ourselves on our own for a day or two, we managed to walk a couple of places, including Chubby's Tacos, in a shopping center on Durant Rd -- A 3/4 mile walk

It was a hot and humid day - even by NC standards. The walk took us through winding streets with little traffic and no sidewalks past cul-de-sacs and mostly-new construction. AS we drew closer to our destination, we turned on to busy Durant Rd. I think it was a dirt road when I was in high school. Now it is a bustling five-lane thoroughfare between a mall with restaurants, and a middle-school. And we walked and walked, looking for a crossing point. We evn considered jaywalking, until we saw this...

I knew what it was as soon as I saw it. Kids had tried to cross here, not wanting to walk all the way up to the light, and then wait forever for it to let them cross. The death was the result of poor transportation planning - it was easy to see, even though I didn't know the details.

When I returned home I looked for the story behind this roadside memorial...

See more about this story at WRAL.com

Tragic story, but not unusual. I find it really amazing that no significant remedial steps were taken in response to this death. What, do they think it was just a tragic accident? Was it the victims fault? Until public officials realize that the blame rests on the design of the road, this kind of thing is destined to be repeated over and over again.

Even more than a year later, and the memorial marks the spot on Durant Rd. Too bad the same dangerous conditions remain there as well.

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