Providence Road overpass

Just a random safety nudge for any parents reading this site: please urge your kid to use the overpass instead of darting across Providence Road. Some kids are doing it after school, and still others after games, practices, and rehearsals … in the dark.

Drivers on this road are rushing to get home and some are even texting (you can see their phone screens from the overpass vantage point). There are also lots of brand new drivers around high schools. Although your kid might be a fast sprinter, he/she is weighted down by 50 lbs of books.

Providence RoadIf your kid pooh-poohs your concern (likely), here’s some history that might get their attention: in December 1971, a car on Providence Road plowed into a crowd leaving a Nether Providence High School basketball game, killing 2, injuring 12. That accident speaks directly to a common feeling of pedestrians: “because I’m in a crowd, drivers will see us and slow down while we cross”. The driver in question was asleep (according to newspaper clippings I found). He’d been drinking, too.

In response to this tragedy, a pedestrian overpass was constructed. The steepness of the hill on that location of Providence Road was also changed so that drivers could better see pedestrians (and pedestrians could see cars). I’m assuming the mound of soil that ruins the view of high school from road is a remnant of that hasty regrading effort. I think there were also calls for sidewalks in the area … but that didn’t happen.

Students are urged by the administration to use the overpass, but because so many kids visit our school for games, we really should install signs like the one below (but in English).

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About Colin Purrington

evolutionary biologist, photographer
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