Editor’s Scratchpad

Monday, April 23, 2001

How many crosses
will it take?

I try not to look at it now, the green Styrofoam cross about 2 feet high, decorated with artificial purple and white orchids and a little stuffed bird with "Daddy" written on it. It is stuck in the ground along a stretch of grass between a supermarket and Kamehameha Highway in Kaneohe.

Near the cross is the "crosswalk" where the elderly father of whoever placed the cross was run over not long ago. He wasn't the first and will not be the last. There is no traffic light where the mostly elderly pedestrians hurry across the highway to or from the bus stop, which is the only reason the fatal crosswalk exists. Just 40 yards in either direction are crosswalks with traffic lights.

The other day, a white-haired Asian woman waited to scamper across the four lanes. I asked her if she was scared. Yes, she said, she was always scared at that crosswalk. But the bus stop was right across the street. I was going to ask her why she didn't go down to the traffic light but she saw a break in the traffic and suddenly began hobbling to the other side. A car went by her, not even slowing down, missing her by only a few feet.

I try not to look at the "Daddy" cross anymore. But I can't take my eyes off it. And I wonder how many others will be erected before this insanity is stopped.

--Charles Memminger

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