A local man is tired of seeing car-pedestrian accidents and has taken it upon himself to try to bring changes to Washington Street.
At 3:48 p.m. Monday, a 14-year-old youth from Jamestown was riding his skateboard east across Washington Street away from Chadakoin Park. The youth rode his skateboard into the side of a pickup truck being driven north on Washington Street.
Jamestown Police officers report the youth had a serious leg injury. After being taken to WCA Hospital by ambulance, the youth was flown by Starlight to the Hamot Medical Center in Erie, Pa.
At top, emergency responders tend to a 14-year-old youth who rode his skateboard into a pickup truck while crossing Washington Street Monday afternoon. At right, a memorial for Terry Harper, 43, of Jamestown who was killed when he walked into the path of a vehicle on Washington Street on June 18. At left, a response concerned resident Tom McCrady received back from the New York State Department of Transportation which notes that a traffic study will be conducted for that intersection.
P-J photos by Remington Whitcomb
Though the accident was deemed to be no-fault and the driver of the pickup truck was not charged, the incident was similar to a June 19 incident that killed a 43-year-old man.
"The whole road, up from Tops to 10th Street, I believe there are five different roads that tee into Washington and ideally it would be nice to have at least a painted crosswalk at the end of those roads," said Tom McCrady, a concerned resident.
"Obviously, that's a dangerous area where several people have been injured and it needs to be addressed," McCrady continued. "... I'm really afraid they're going to drop the ball on this and I think it's something that needs to be addressed. The Chadakoin Park is right there and the potential for disaster is extremely great at that location."
Before the incident on Monday occurred, McCrady had already written a letter to the state Department of Transportation in Buffalo asking for a pedestrian-activated streetlight to be placed at Washington and 13th streets.
On July 16, McCrady received this letter in response:
"Thank you for your July 3, 2012 letter regarding the (request for review of pedestrian conditions at Washington and Thirteenth Street). A traffic engineering investigation has been initiated to review this request. At the conclusion of our investigation, we will advise you of our findings. Sincerely, Thomas S. Messana."
"I went to school in California," said McCrady, "Anytime someone took a step off of a curb there, traffic in both directions stopped. I don't know what legislation would to do make something like that happen here, but something certainly needs to be done. There are concerns that there will be pileups in the winter if cars stopped constantly due to pedestrians, but something such as a pedestrian-operated street light could certainly (save lives) at this particular location."
One location in Jamestown where an unorthodox pedestrian crosswalk has seen success is on Foote Avenue in front of WCA Hospital. While there isn't a streetlight at the crosswalk in front of WCA Hospital, there is a sign asking traffic to yield to pedestrians, and so far McCrady said the crosswalk has improved pedestrian safety in front of the hospital. Such a crosswalk at the conjunction of Washington and Thirteenth streets could be a starting point in reducing the number of pedestrian injuries at the intersection.
"Something needs to be done," McCrady said. "I think it's either crosswalks or crosses, because if a crosswalk doesn't end up getting up at that location, you're going to see far more memorial crosses than just the one that's located there now. Truth be told, I don't really want to wait for a study to be completed. I think there's enough evidence to show that something needs to be done now."