GringoPost | Ecuador: High risk of pedestrians

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High risk of pedestrians

Recently I watched as two little boys tried to cross Ordonez Lasso, zigzagging between very fast moving vehicles in the cross-walk, then jumping up on the high, narrow median and almost falling off, as I prayed every moment that they would not be hit and maimed or killed.

A few days later I witnessed an extremely loud motorcycle and pick-up truck racing between the two traffic lights at extremely high speeds. At last count four pedestrians and bikers had been injured or killed between these two traffic lights in the last four months or so.

By comparison, the freeway leaving town from Quito to the airport has posted and enforced speeds, and walk throughs at the many crosswalks with speed bumps. This is not a neighborhood street such as Ordonez Lasso used to be before they tore up the perfectly good one and made a freeway of it too. But though Quito well protects the few pedestrians in that stretch, there are thousands of pedestrian residents in this Ordonez Lasso mile with no such protections, including many other unsafe streets in Cuenca.

Some months ago more than 700 residents of the Ordonez Lasso neighborhood signed petitions that were presented to the governor and Cuenca mayor, it was reported, requesting the same protection as Quito provides for its citizens. In Cuenca, so far nothing has been done but the pulling up of all the small shrubbery planted in the median when it was built about 18 months ago. This "rearranging of the chairs on the Titanic" solves nothing. Small businesses suffer as well since many residents fear to cross the street to get to them, and some have closed.

It seems that instead of any of the above measures, huge amounts of taxpayers' money are being spent to do a first class paving of the unnecessary dirt lane between Riverside and HomeVega, including nice sidewalks on both sides, stone walls, manholes, pipes of every kind, electrical wiring, etc.

Drivers should be in control of their vehicles at all times. They have no right to hit pedestrians no matter where the pedestrians are. When will city hall respond to these petitioners who have a right to safety?

Note: Please, spare us all the comments by the nasties. This includes rights of pedestrians, both Ecuadorians and gringos. No one has a right to run over another human or animal whether they cross in the right spot or not. (There is presently no safe place to cross this street whether at crosswalks [cars don't slow for them] or traffic lights with transitos. I have watched pedestrians almost run over in such situations as well.) We are not "guests of this country" but have invested a lifetime of hard work and big bucks in Cuenca where we continue to contribute much as permanent residents proud to be here.

Charlotte