Dedicated to the memory of Dick and Lorraine Evensen,
whose deaths in 1987 alerted us to the insidious changes at streets with no traffic control.
May their memory inspire and remind us to prepare our students to assess and cross these streets safely.
The history of realization
Our journey to understanding these street crossings started on a cold, clear Monday night, January 12, 1987, when Dick and Lorraine Evensen and Dick's guide dog were all killed in a suburb of Washington, DC, crossing the street shown in the picture to the right (you can click here if you want to know more about what happened).
Dick was totally blind and sometimes crossed there alone.
Lorraine had albinism and probably could see headlights approaching from quite a distance.
Needless to say, those of us who knew Dick and Lorraine were all horrified and deeply grieved.
I dealt with it by obsessing about how it could have happened.
I was shocked at what I discovered at that crossing, and the implications for the way we teach people to cross streets when they use hearing to cross (as Dick did) and when they can see traffic from a distance (as Lorraine did).
Bear with me, and I will explain it in the next few pages.