Friday, December 10, 2010

This Week On Foot

It seems there is no end to ways that vehicles can be responsible for pedestrian deaths. This week we learn of a Pedestrian killed in front of South Coast Plaza after being hit by debris from car. As if being hit by the cars themselves isn't enough.

Fortunately vehicle-makers continue to pursue technology that makes cars (if not the stuff they carry) safer. For example, Mercedes-Benz Adds Pedestrian Spotlight Function to Night Vision System that aims light at pedestrians at night. And just in time too, since one of the most dangerous evenings for nighttime revelry is around the corner. If you're wondering why Why New Year's is the Deadliest Day of the Year for Pedestrians, Health Canal explains that it's the combination of drinking and darkness that leads to problems.

However, in Bangalore it's not the vehicles that are causing troubles for pedestrians, it's trees. This week residents plea with officials to Remove this giant of a barrier for the safety of Bangalore pedestrians

Officials in Bangalore might not be paying enough attention to pedestrians' needs, but fortunately there are some places that are. In Tennessee, Camera cash may buy pedestrian beacon in Oak Ridge, and in Des Moines transportation officials tout 4.8M Miles With No Pedestrian Crashes after installing pedestrian safety measures on a dangerous stretch of roadway.

Perhaps envious of other cities' efforts to promote walkability, in New York Skidmore students seek sustainable pedestrian and accessibility options for campus.

But pedestrian naysayers remain. One Vancouverite rants that Pedestrian decals a waste of money, and shouldn't be installed on the sides of buses. And the folks over at Raise the Hammer point out that We Value Drivers' Time More Than Pedestrians' Time.

Nonetheless, we shouldn't give up on walkability. As one new study points out, it has a lot of benefits. When you live in a walkable neighborhood you can Walk Places, Meet People, And Build Social Capital.

And one final reminder for those who live in harsher climes: Clearing sidewalks is the duty of all property owners. Don't make us walk through the snow.

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