A story recently appeared in the news sphere that has disturbed me deeply. A mother and her three children in Marietta, Georgia, arrived at the bus stop across the street from their apartment. While crossing the street, her four year-old child was hit and killed by a car. The man who killed her child, Jerry Guy, served six months in jail and is on five years of probation.
But, she was charged with and convicted of second-degree vehicular homicide — because she was jaywalking. You can see the full story below.
I believe this case illustrates the entrapment the city uses against the underprivileged. Read below for my argument.
For the moment, we will put aside a few of the facts. The man who killed A.J. Nelson had been drinking and was on pain medications. He was partially blind in one eye. The accident happened at night. This was his third hit-and-run accident. The jury who convicted her was not a jury of her peers: they all reported that they had never had to use public transportation or walk along a busy street. But, forget about all of that for right now.
Let’s talk about the bus stop issues involved.
Raquel Nelson and her family had to cross a busy four-lane street to get to their apartment. The nearest crosswalk was almost half a mile away and required that they cross other side streets that were not well-lit. The preferred route is obvious. However, prosecutors have insisted that passengers should ride to the nearest crosswalk before de-busing. That’s what the city intended when it designed the transit system, right?
An understanding of how bus stops work is necessary. With little exception, bus stops are always paired: one on each side of the street. The most obvious reason for this is so that you can get off at your destination, no matter the direction of travel. But, is this what the city had in mind when designing the system? Or did they expect their passengers to ride to the nearest crosswalk and cross there? Let’s investigate.
I, too, live in a set of apartments along a busy boulevard — six lanes separate me from my couch at the end of the day. I gathered images from around my home to share with you.
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