As the Issaquah Highlands has been developed over the years, it has always offered its residents a rare benefit in our modern society – a genuine sense of safety and security. Residents feel comfortable letting their children play outdoors with minimal supervision, don’t give a second thought to riding bikes along the many bike paths and trails in our community, and regularly take their dogs out for long walks in the evenings. It is important that we feel safe in all of these things.
Recently, however, that feeling of safety was taken away from the residents of the street I live on. A passing car, traveling well in excess of the posted 25 mph speed limit, hit a neighbor’s dog on a dark weekend night. The driver of that car did not stop at the scene of the incident and sped away without a second glance. Had they stopped, they would have seen that the dog they injured was hit so hard that its collar and leash were torn away in the collision, that the dog’s owners spent the better part of an hour trying to calm and catch the bleeding dog before rushing it to the local pet hospital. And if the driver travels this street regularly, they would know that children gather at this same corner every morning to catch the bus to school.
The morning after the dog was hit, I walked with my pregnant wife along the sidewalk where the dog had been injured. The fresh rain had not yet washed away the fresh trail of blood. As we discussed the incident, a speeding car rushed by us — a fresh reminder that the safety of our neighborhood is being eroded by drivers in a hurry.
Every day the streets of the Issaquah Highlands are filled with vehicles traveling in excess of the posted speed limits. Many of these cars pass one another with just inches to spare on streets that allow parking on both sides. The parked cars limit the line of sight onto busy sidewalks, and excess speed inhibits the ability of passing cars to stop in time. This is a recipe for tragedy in a neighborhood with so many small children, some of whom dart into the street after basketballs or cross the street without looking both ways. This is simply what kids do, no matter how many times good habits are reinforced by parents and role models.
Knowing this, our responsibility as adults is to obey the posted speed limits in our neighborhood and require that others do the same. It is not only common sense, but also the law. For if we fail to keep our streets safe, we will lose something we have always had in the Highlands, safety for our families, our guests and our pets.