Friday, October 29, 2010

This Week on Foot

The big pedestrian story this week in Los Angeles is that of 3 youths held in Eastside school bus crash that killed a pedestrian and injured numerous students--but sadly Ventura County is holding its own with pedestrian mishaps, where Boy, 11, hit by car, critically injured in Oxnard and Pedestrian identified in apparent T.O. hit-and-run death.

All these crashes got SoapBox LA thinking about The Politics of Crosswalks , while across the internet Infrastructurists ponders The Rise of the Walkable City.

Perhaps the real fix for the (lack of) pedestrian safety is self-driving vehicles. Not to be outdone by Google's recent efforts, in China 4 vans travel 8,000 miles without drivers and with few incidents (they weren't quite able to handle Moscow's traffic jams, which doesn't bode well for LA).

Meanwhile, one US court rules four-year-old cyclist can be sued after colliding with pedestrian, while another Judge blocks Venice boardwalk permit system, agreeing with the argument that the system violates free speech rights. But it's pedestrian rights that folks in India are worred about, where sidewalk Encroachments spell doom on roads.

With all the battling over who gets to use the public space, is it any wonder that in New York a Pedestrian-Only Ramp Proposed For Ferry Terminal?

Finally, as the holiday weekend nears, transportation authorities across the country are warning folks of the pedestrian safety risks associated with trick-or-treating. The Tennessee Highway Patrol notes that Halloween most dangerous day of year for pedestrian injuries, deaths among young children  and the Ohio DOT points out that  Pedestrian-Vehicle Crashes Double Before Halloween.

Here in California things are relatively safer, as the Number of Californians Hit by Cars Jumps 25% On Halloween, but if you ask me that's still a pretty scary statistic. If you're hunting for the safest spots for candy gathering, you might start with the top-ranked neighborhoods on Zillows Trick or Treating Index (see yesterday's post). But no matter what you get up to on foot this weekend, be careful. Remember, It's always a walk on the wild side for pedestrians.

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