THE difficulties presented by many of the wide one-way streets in George Town is a major problem affecting older people.
Crossing the streets for them is not only difficult but dangerous.
Actually, it may be a life or death matter for them as well. A hazard, in short.
That is because fast-moving vehicles and speeding motorcycles ply the road and there is no way an elderly person can cross from one end to the other without risking their lives.
This is further aggravated by a lack of zebra crossings.
Pedestrians, especially the older ones, have to bear the brunt because most motorists do not care about them.
Even if an elderly person were to gather enough courage to put his foot forward and cross the busy road, it will take at least a minute to stop and look before walking over it, as many of roads are multi-lane.
As it is, walking along the side road to one's desired destination and crossing a road are two different things altogether.
Surely, these frail senior citizens cannot be expected to dash across as the much younger ones would tend to do the moment the road is clear of traffic.
They will fall and injure themselves if they are not careful.
An old person does not have the physical ability of a young person.
Besides, many of them also have poor eyesight.
It is simply impossible for these elderly people to cross the city's busy streets without assistance.
Just how often we come across old men and old women, standing helplessly with a worried look on their faces and they ponder how to cross the busy road that has no pedestrian crossing?
As they are slow in estimating the speed and distance of an approaching vehicle, these old folk just had to wait patiently until a kind soul comes along to lead them across.
They cannot be expected to cross the road by themselves as they can no longer depend on their reflexes.
The problem here is that few drivers will slow down or actually stop when they see old people crossing.
Forget about building pedestrian bridges. They are a waste of public funds and many of these bridges are not fully utilised.
The older people do not have the stamina to climb the steps.
Walking across a wide street in George Town will be a breeze for all if only the local authorities were to build more zebra crossings as they did in Komtar recently.