As I have explained before, I don’t just live in the city, I live in the city. Specifically, I live in the Greystone Neighborhood of Kansas City, Missouri, and you couldn’t get me to leave this area for a million bucks. I absolutely love my apartment and my neighborhood. Greystone is a small, eclectic, mixed-use, walkable neighborhood with a low crime rate where we never hear gunfire. It lies between Main and Broadway, between Union Hill and Penn Valley Park, and I rarely go more than five miles from home; the Target at Ward Parkway is about as far from home as I go. If I can’t get there on foot, on my bike or on the Metro, I don’t need to go there, I will find whatever it is closer to home and not hassle with traveling to get it. Nothing, and I do mean nothing, is worth the hassle of driving when I live my entire life in the most congested part of the city. Let me put it in perspective for you: If I had a dollar for every mile I have gone in the last year in a car that wasn’t a taxicab, I wouldn’t be able to cover my living expenses for a month – and I live cheap.
The lone downside to my neighborhood is crossing the street. Every time I leave the house, I take my life in my hands. That is because no one who drives through the intersections of Linwood at either Broadway or Main sees pedestrians.
But that is the fault of the other pedestrians who use the sidewalks passing through our neighborhood. They seem to have a strange aversion to crosswalks and walk signals and brazenly walk out in traffic without a second thought. There is a veritable crimewave of jaywalkers on my street.
This morning, one caused an accident. There were no injuries, but there was a hell of a response. The street filled up with cop cars, ambulances and a firetruck in just a couple if minutes.
About 9:00, as I was settling in with my second cup of coffee and started to make my rounds on the interwebs, I heard tires squealing and a crash. I looked out the window and saw two cars pulling over to the side of the street and a jaywalker standing in the middle of the street observing his handiwork.
He then simply sauntered on.
I am sick to death of people in cars trying to kill me because every time they drive through my neighborhood, they have to deal with dumbasses like that and are now conditioned to think that we are all scofflaws, so the rules are suspended while they are in this neighborhood.
So here is what I propose the city do with my tax dollars…
First, we need a crosswalk and “Pedestrian Crossing” signs, and maybe even a flashing yellow light, at Wyandotte and Linwood. Redemptorist Center is on Linwood at Wyandotte, and the four mornings they are open and offering social services, there is a lot of heavy foot traffic. There is also the Cristo Rey high school on Linwood in the same church campus. A crosswalk at Linwood and Wyandotte would afford people a safe and legal place to cross Linwood without going the block and a half to either Main or Broadway.
And then we need a police presence. We need beat cops walking Linwood from the college on the west end of the street to Troost on the east. And they need to go on a ticket-writing spree for Jaywalkers. We also need traffic cops at Linwood and Main and Linwood and Broadway during morning and evening rush hours, and they need to ticket the be-jebus out of motorists who block crosswalks and ignore walk signals and pedestrians who are following the rules and pull out to make righthand turns without stopping, or continue with left turns after the light changes.
The police officers writing those tickets would quickly bring in the revenue to pay their salaries and the freight for the crosswalk, signs and flashing yellow light I would like to have above it.
That is what I would like to see for my local tax dollars, anyway.