These safety-lighted shoes were made for walking

By ANNEMARIE SCHUETZ
Posted 6/16/21

MONTICELLO, NY — “Pedestrian safety has been a major issue,” district attorney Meagan Galligan during her report at the public safety committee meeting on June 3, “and …

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These safety-lighted shoes were made for walking

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MONTICELLO, NY — “Pedestrian safety has been a major issue,” district attorney Meagan Galligan during her report at the public safety committee meeting on June 3, “and it’s only going to continue to get worse over the summer.”

State police have put up mobile boards to remind drivers to watch for people walking on roadsides or in the middle of the road. Sometimes there are dogs too, she said.

“We’re a rural county. Our infrastructure is maybe not as great as cities. We don’t have sidewalks, we don’t have streetlights... the main thing we can do at this point is advocate for driver awareness.”

But pedestrians, some said, could shoulder a little responsibility too.

“I’m probably in the most rural district,” said legislator George Conklin, “and I think there should be some education for the pedestrians. Obviously, it’s incumbent upon all of us to navigate our motor vehicles in a safe manner, but when it’s 8:30 at night, and dusk, and you’ve got folks who, for some reason, really like to wear black or brown, and they’ve got a dog with them, off a leash, and they’re on a single-lane road... these people really need to be cognizant of the fact that they need to be visible.”

Galligan said donation drives for reflective gear had been organized in the eastern part of the county.

“That’s why we have to get the sidewalk issue solved in Bloomingburg,” said Nick Salomone, adding that many people there wear reflective gear.

Conklin said that for the western part of the county, it might be a matter of connecting with the short-term rentals and making sure tenants are aware of the danger. They have “a false sense of security.”

“We’ve had numerous complaints on River Road” in Callicoon, said undersheriff Eric Chaboty later. It’s “a very picturesque road and people walk three, four abreast. It’s a narrow road.” So there isn’t enough room for drivers to pull around people walking in the middle.

For all the humor and frustration, it’s a serious and deadly issue. Just last month, a pedestrian was killed in Bloomingburg.

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