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Norwalk: Stay safe, walk against traffic, listen

Norwalk pedestrian in snow
A Brien McMahon High School student walks up Soundview Avenue Tuesday afternoon.

NORWALK, Conn. – Brien McMahon High School students are not along in their predicament: pedestrians all over Norwalk are being forced to walk in the road due to the large amount of snow dumped on the city over the weekend.

On Wednesday afternoon, Norwalk’s Office of Emergency Management used its Facebook page to offered walkers some safety guidelines:

  •  Walk against traffic and as close to the curb as you can if the sidewalk has not been cleared.
  •  Wearing dark “winter” colors can make it hard for motorists to see you, especially if they aren’t expecting you. Consider wearing a brightly-colored scarf or hat, or reflective gear, especially if you have to walk in the street. When walking in the dark, carry a flashlight to make yourself visible. 
  •  Make sure you can hear. While seeing the environment is important, you also want to be sure you can hear approaching traffic and other noises. Avoid listening to music or engaging in conversation that may prevent you from hearing oncoming traffic or snow removal equipment.
  • Make sure babies and/or small children are also dressed in brightly colored or reflective clothing. If you have to push a stroller or walk in the street, keep the child in front of you and as close to the curb as possible.
  •  Before you step off of the curb into the street, make sure that any approaching vehicles have come to a complete stop. Motorists may not be able to stop at traffic signals if the roads are icy and they may not be able to see pedestrians because of snow piles.

Within an hour, the Facebook page had a comment: “Are homeowners supposed to be clearing the sidewalks in front of their houses?” Michael Fetterer asked. “Seems like very few people are doing it.”

Mayor Richard Moccia also put out a press release with the tips. “Fluctuating temperatures and ongoing work by residents to clear pathways can make for hazardous conditions,” he said in the release. “A combination of common sense and observation of safety tips can assure a safer environment for everyone and I urge our citizens to pay particular attention in the days ahead.”

Comments

2 responses to “Norwalk: Stay safe, walk against traffic, listen”

  1. LWitherspoon

    Good reminder. I believe several people in Bridgeport were recently injured when snow-covered sidewalks forced them to walk in the street. Presumably those injured were walking in the street with their backs to traffic, so they couldn’t see the vehicles bearing down on them. Walking or jogging against traffic is much safer than turning your back to it, because you can see the drivers who might not see you and you have a chance to take evasive action. The jogger who was killed over the summer had his back to traffic and was hit from behind by a teenage girl looking at her cellphone instead of the road. Spread the word to your friends and family, you might just save them from serious harm.

  2. Let’s not forget Teeana Escourse, a Brien McMahon student who was described as “brain dead” after a Taylor Avenue hit and run accident on New Year’s eve two years ago. I believe she is in a rehab facility in New York. Teeana was walking in the road because the sidewalks were covered with snow, I was told.
    We all need to make the young people aware of the dangers.

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