Pedestrians on Bellevue sidewalks should speak up | Letter

My wife and I walk early in the morning almost every day in the Northtowne area of Bellevue. At this time of the year it is usually dark. We are elderly and unfortunately, our hearing is not so great. Since we are mostly alone on the sidewalks at that time of day, we walk side by side and hold hands. We occupy most of the sidewalk.

The problem, and the reason for this letter, is that occasionally others walk, jog or run (and ride bikes) on these sidewalks too, and quite often approach us from behind and need to pass. Hardly ever do these people alert us to their presence before they try to squeeze by. So far, we have been lucky and have not had a collision. But at our age, it would only take one to really spoil our day, or worse.

When we used to ski, it was a well-accepted courtesy to call out loudly “on your left” or “on your right” by an overtaking skier to let people know that they were about to be passed and on which side. Is it too much to ask those on the sidewalks to do the same? And given that some walkers may not hear well, especially when traffic and wet roads create a very difficult hearing environment, to call out loudly and well in advance of passage? It would be greatly appreciated. Thank you.

Dick Thompson