Wednesday, March 19, 2014

Priorities (Day 257 KEDfay)

I used to walk everywhere.

I would walk to the store when I needed something. I'd walk to class. I'd walk to see friends. I'd walk just for the fun of it. At one point, I was walking about three miles a day just because I could and because I wanted to.

Then we moved to Florida.

I don't know if it is true outside of Jacksonville, but it seems to me that pedestrians and bicyclists face more danger than in an average city. At least once a week I read a story about how a person walking across an intersection was hit and killed. Or riding their bike. Once there was even a man in a wheelchair who was crossing an intersection who was hit and killed.

I don't walk everywhere any more. I hardly walk at all and when I do, I allow extra time to cross the street and hope and pray that the person who is turning right at a red light doesn't ignore my right of way and think I'm wasting their time.

Today a man was arrested for painting graffiti on stop light utility boxes around the city.

They aren't gang related. They aren't abusive to any group of people. They are simply a tribute to another artist, Keith Haring. They're beautiful works of art and yet unknown amounts of money were spent trying to catch him and will continue to go towards any further prosecuting.

Early Tuesday morning, a bicyclist was hit and killed. The driver fled the scene of the crash. Family members of the bicyclist said that it wasn't the first time he had been hit by a car while riding his bike. Most of the pedestrian accidents that happen in Jacksonville end with the driver of the car fleeing the scene. Families then ask the public for help in trying to find the person who did it. Sometimes they are found. Sometimes they aren't. Sometimes they are found and then nothing happens.

One of the women in my knitting group was apart of the Jewish community here in Jacksonville before she moved to Seattle for a job. She knew a woman who was on her way to the synagog, who was hit and killed by a driver who fled the scene. Her daughter was seriously injured. They were walking in the crosswalk when the handy little crosswalk sign told them to. The man who hit them, who has now been found, won't be facing any criminal charges. This isn't the first time he's hit and killed someone. This isn't the first time he has gotten away with mere traffic violations. In addition to the woman that was hit and killed, the same driver hit and killed a six year old child.

A graffiti artist who did no harm to anyone is arrested but a man who has killed two people is getting off with a couple of traffic citations.

This is just one of the many examples of a city that has it's priorities in the wrong place.

This is one of the many examples of why I will never adopt Jacksonville as my hometown.

Knitting: Finished the main foot of my first sock. Still need to do the afterthought heel.

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