Friday, February 18, 2011

This Week on Foot

This week started out with tragedy when 25 hurt as taxi hits crowd outside San Diego nightclub, proving yet again that pedestrians are never safe, even when they're standing on the sidewalk.

Yet somehow that doesn't stop everyone from blaming them for crashes. This week we continue to see rants about The dangers of distracted pedestrians, studies showing how New Yorkers Diagnosed With Pedestrian Aggressiveness, and just general Sidewalk Rage.

Yet statistics show that it's clearly the distracted drivers that cause more problems, such as the Chicago Driver Who Killed Pedestrian Was Updating Facebook Status, Lawsuit Claims . Fortunately at least one government agency recognizes this, as the CHP in Orange County cracks down on drivers violating hands-free cellphone law.

With all the hubub, it's probably a good thing that places like New York City will finally collect crash data on cyclists, pedestrians. Perhaps better data will help us put the debate over pedestrian culpability to rest.

In the meantime, pedestrians are still having trouble--even when they try to stay out of the way of traffic. In Silver Spring construction shuts sidewalks, violating policy, while due to Unshoveled sidewalks: Syracuse flunks the 'walkability' test.

But it's not all bad news out there. This week we also learn about Projects to make Oakley roads more pedestrian-, driver-friendly, a Sidewalk Inventory Study Helps Resolve Safety, Walkability, And Development Issues For City Of Rancho Cucamonga, $22 million committed to complete big four pedestrian bridge, and how Pedestrians 'put first' in Edinburgh city centre plan. Even better, Pedestrian-involved collisions down 25 percent in San Francisco.
Maybe SF also got a Bumper crop of pedestrian safety vests?

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