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October 22, 2013

Pedestrian-safety crusade gathers steam

(Continued)

PERU —

RURAL ROADWAYS

With shorter and shorter days, and the anniversary date of Brandon’s death approaching, Mastic feels increasing pressure to do her part to help prevent similar tragedies. 

“Statistics show most of the (pedestrian) deaths happen in October, November, December because of the lighting,” she said.

Daylight leaves suddenly, often catching those afoot or on bike off guard.

And it doesn’t matter if a lot of walkers and runners are on the road for an organized event, she said, “the cars still can’t stop (any faster).”

Last week, Mastic attended the Adirondack Coast Walk/Bike Symposium at Clinton Community College. The Complete Streets concept it fosters aims to make travel safer for all modes of transportation, including walking and biking.

It focused more on more populated areas, such as cities and town centers, she noticed, with emphasis on such features as crosswalks and roundabouts.

“But Clinton County is 64 percent rural,” she said, encouraging a broader focus.

‘A DETERRENT’

Mastic invites requests from schools, organizations and those holding events to contact her about making presentations. She welcomes sponsors to help pay for the T-shirts and belts, even just one or two.

T-shirts cost $10 each, and a belt is $15.

One donor has paid for enough belts for every cross-country runner at AuSable Valley Central School, Mastic said, if she gets the green light to go there.

Monday, she brought her message to Beekmantown Central School.

Walk or run against traffic; bike with it, she says.

Stop and look left, right and left again before entering a roadway.

If you must be out at dusk or in darkness, make sure you are as visible as possible, with florescent shirts, belts or other gear; red flashing lights catch the eye of motorists, too.

Mastic wishes law enforcement would at least stop and tell those using unsafe pedestrian/bike habits what the law says.

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