Tuesday, May 28, 2013

Rochester, NY Taxpayer Dollars at Work: Are RPD Segways a Distraction?

By Davy V.
Pedestrian crossing one of downtown Rochester, NY's
busiest intersections, Main and Exchange, while
Rochester, NY Police officer Aaron Brown
is having distracted, having fun on RPD Segway.
Photo by Davy V.

I must admit that I've never really heard anything bad about Rochester, NY Police officer Aaron Brown.

In fact, many times when I've been in downtown Rochester, I see Brown at his usual post on the corner of Main and Exchange, directing traffic, and crossing pedestrians, as he occasionally blows his whistle, and directs cars with his fast hand gestures.

Officer brown is hard to miss.

At well over 6 feet tall, Brown towers over traffic at what is probably downtown Rochester's busiest intersections.

Ever since I was hit by car on May 16, 2009 at Rochester NY's Lilac Festival, and almost killed, I am more aware of pedestrians at crosswalks.

The young college student that hit me, claimed he never saw me, even though I waited for the "Walk" sign, and had the right of way, as I was crossing the intersection of South and Highland Avenues.

Scary thing is I never saw him either.

Even more scary is the fact that I was hit next to two Rochester Police officers in bright fluorescent yellow event vests, who were too busy talking and laughing with each other, and didn't cross cross pedestrians, including myself.

Note: In New York State, police don't have a duty to cross pedestrians, for liability reasons such as in my incident, leaving the decision of whether they cross someone or not, completely to their discretion.

So what does my incident, which occurred four years ago, have to do with RPD officer Aaron Brown, you might ask?


On Tuesday morning, I visited downtown Rochester.

I decided to have a cappuccino at the Tim Hortons on the corner of Main and Exchange, and while enjoying my drink, I was disturbed by what I saw.

Rochester, NY Police officer Brown was not on foot like he normally is, but perhaps more important, he wasn't focused on his job, like he normally is.

Simply put, officer Brown seemed like he was having more fun spinning round and round on his RPD Segway, than on helping pedestrians safely cross a busy intersection.

As you can see in the videos below, RPD officer Brown completely ignored several pedestrians crossing, while he was busy spinning in circles, and loops, under the entrance to the Crossroads building.

As I watched pedestrian after pedestrian cross by themselves, while RPD officer Aaron Brown looked completely distracted, like a kid with a new toy, I couldn't help but have flashbacks of my incident.

Once again Rochester, NY... your taxpayer dollars hard at work.

Click Play to watch Part 1

Click Play to watch Part 2

Click Play to watch Part 3

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