Several years ago, I spent about six weeks helping out at our sister newspaper over in Lewisburg. The offices for the paper are right on the square, and the one thing I noticed right away was that on the Lewisburg square, if you are waiting at one end of a pedestrian crosswalk, waiting to cross the street, traffic stops. Period. Rain or shine, morning or evening, no matter what the traffic. On the square, at least, pedestrians have the unquestioned right of way, and if a driver sees someone waiting to cross the street, the driver stops and lets them cross. It probably helps that there are signs posted instructing drivers to yield to pedestrians.
It doesn't work that way on the Shelbyville square, and I've long-since become accustomed to that.
But today, I was up on the square making my usual Thursday-afternoon rounds, picking up public record. I usually walk up to the square, but it was pouring down raining, so I had driven up, and parked on the courthouse side of the street. (My first stop was in the courthouse.)
After my first stop, I got ready to cross the street over to the US Bank building. I stood there in the crosswalk, in the rain, and no less than four vehicles sped by. All four of them could see me clearly. Not one of them had the courtesy to let the guy standing there, in the rain, cross the street.
Some major renovations are planned for the square in the next few years, and if I understand correctly the stoplights at Main and Depot streets will be eliminated in favor of four-way stops. I think this will be a good thing -- too often, vehicles headed west on Holland Street, across the north side of the square, hardly even slow down when they have a green light. It was those vehicles that refused to stop and let a pedestrian cross the street in the rain today. A four-way stop would keep anyone from speeding onto the square, and maybe that would lead to a little bit more courtesy towards pedestrians.