Gordon, who was 68 years old, had been totally blind since he was a boy, and was a fiercely independent man.*
He and his guide dog Wendy often walked to town (Moorestown, NJ -- just outside of Philadelphia).
Gordon usually cut through an apartment complex and then crossed Camden Avenue in front of the auto repair shop next to the complex (shown in the photo to the left).
Gordon would usually stand at the entrance of the auto repair shop and holler to let the mechanics know he wanted help to cross.
But sometimes he and Wendy crossed alone, and when coming back home they usually crossed without help.
This morning was one of those times that Gordon and Wendy crossed by themselves.
Analysis -- Situations can change!
I analyzed this crossing three weeks after Gordon and Wendy were killed.
At about 3 o'clock on a Friday afternoon, there was a Situation of Uncertainty.
When I analyzed it again at about 8 o'clock the next evening, it was a Situation of Confidence.
On Friday afternoon, there was definitely a Situation of Uncertainty, as demonstrated in the video to the right (the link to this YouTube video may not be accessible from restricted sites).
I made this video while I stood where Gordon and Wendy had started their crossing.
When the video begins, it is quiet and no vehicles can be seen in either direction, and yet it is not possible to hear a pickup truck approaching from the right until it is about 4 seconds away.
The crossing time there is about 7 seconds.
For someone like Gordon who relies on hearing to cross, this would be considered a "Situation of Uncertainty" because even in the best of conditions (i.e. when it seems quiet), it isn't possible for anyone to hear the vehicles well enough to be sure whether or not it was clear to cross.
For example, if I had started to cross just before I heard that truck (while it was still quiet), it would have reached me just after I had entered its lane.
That is exactly where Gordon and Wendy were when they were hit by the truck.
On Saturday evening, that same crossing was no longer a Situation of Uncertainty.
When it was quiet, I could hear the approaching vehicles in either direction when they were 13-20 seconds away.
So in that situation I could be confident that whenever it is quiet, it is clear to cross because if there were any approaching vehicles that could reach me during my crossing, I would have heard them.
Interestingly, I noticed that this was one of those unusual situations I told you about on page 18.
That is, whenever there was a slight noise, such as when I could still hear receding vehicles more than a block away, I could not hear the approaching vehicles until they were much closer (only 8-9 seconds away).
This observation makes me suspect that the reason I was unable to hear the approaching vehicles as well on Friday afternoon as I could on Saturday evening is that the ambient sound was louder on Friday because of the presence of many distant vehicles during rush hour.
Saturday evening, the ambient sound level for "quiet" (the "residual noise level") was less than 50 dB(A).
I did not record the residual sound level Friday afternoon but I expect that it would have been higher because as I explained on page 16, in most communities the residual sound level changes during the day, being noisiest at around 4:00 in the afternoon.
* Information for this page came from talking with Gordon Park's neighbor, a member of his church, the mechanic who often helped him cross the street, and the police, as well as reading the police report and newspaper articles.