DEAR SUN SPOTS: Countless times the same man waits at the corner of Chestnut and Lisbon streets and when the light turns green for me, he slowly walks across the street in front of my car. I'm sure he does it on purpose because it has happened so frequently.
I now go a different route to avoid the temptation. Question: He's in the crosswalk, but the light is green. I know you can't hit him, but who has the right of way? — No Name via email
ANSWER: Sun Spots contacted the Lewiston Police Department and received a response from Sgt. David Chick, inspector of police. Chick sent the relevant state and city ordinances, which included the following:
In M.R.S. Title 29-A, §2056. Pedestrians
"5. Pedestrian crossing. A pedestrian must yield the right of way to a vehicle when crossing a way:
"A. Other than within a marked crosswalk; or
"B. With an available pedestrian tunnel or overhead pedestrian crossing.
"6. Pedestrian prohibitions. A pedestrian may not:
"A. Cross between adjacent intersections at which traffic-control devices operate, except in a marked crosswalk;
"B. Cross an intersection diagonally, unless authorized by official traffic-control devices; or
"C. Suddenly leave a curb or other place of safety and walk or run into the path of a vehicle that is so close that it is impossible for the operator to yield."
So clearly that man is not obeying traffic rules. However, another ordinance offers this warning against running someone down:
"Sec. 70-246. Drivers to exercise due care.
"Notwithstanding the foregoing provisions of this article, every driver of a vehicle shall exercise due care to avoid colliding with any pedestrian upon any roadway and shall give warning by sounding the horn when necessary and shall exercise proper precaution upon observing any child or any confused or incapacitated person upon a roadway."
That last phrase (“confused or incapacitated person”) got Sun Spots to thinking that maybe the person you observed is developmentally delayed or mentally challenged in some way and does not understand the rules. That would explain why he waits until the light turns to step out.
Sun Spots asked Chick if the department is aware of this person, and he said he doesn’t “have any information to suggest that officers are aware of a specific individual which might correlate with this (not enough descriptive information has been given to be able to identify a certain person either)."
He did say that in more extreme circumstances persons have been charged with obstructing a public way, and “there are infrequent citations given for pedestrian violations of the state statute; usually stemming from either an overt violation or a specific complaint. Most times, if an officer observes this, there is a verbal warning given.”
DEAR SUN SPOTS: I am in need of some, or one, adult bibs, new or gently used, for a very dear older lady. I can pick up if in Lewiston-Auburn area. I can be reached until 8 p.m. or leave a message at 784-2393. Thank you for any help or ideas. — From Kay J. via email
ANSWER: A bib should be very easy to make if ready-made ones are not available. Sun Spots remembers making aprons as the first project in her high school home economics courses, and a bib should be similarly easy. Maybe a local group could take on bibs as a project, then donate them to nursing homes?
DEAR SUN SPOTS: Reading your column is a daily enjoyment for me; I find it very helpful.
I want to thank the owner of the two Main Street Dunkin' Donuts stores for his kindness in offering free coffee to seniors citizens on a daily basis through Sept. 8.
Many times when I went to get coffee there were many seniors enjoying their coffees. I have truly enjoyed my iced coffee. — J.P., Lewiston
ANSWER: Many restaurants offer deals or freebies for seniors. Sun Spots expects to hear from them after they see your letter!
DEAR SUN SPOTS: The Maple Grove Cemetery in Hartford is looking for volunteers to help paint the fence around the cemetery. Anyone looking to volunteer and earn Boy or Girl Scout badges or community service time can contact us. — Cindy Violette, firstname.lastname@example.org
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