Thursday, March 24, 2011

This week on foot

The week has not been good for LA-area pedestrians. First we learned the horrible story of a Tustin woman dragged for blocks after being struck by motorist, then just yesterday an Elderly pedestrian stuck twice in fatal hit and run. In both cases the pedestrians in question were over 70, an age when risk for serious injury or death from pedestrian crashes is significantly higher than the risk for younger people. This is in part because older pedestrians just don't cross the street as quickly as their younger counterparts, so their exposure to vehicle traffic is greater, and in part because when they are hit their bodies are less able to easily recover.

Across the country things are pretty bleak as well. In New Jersey Kennedy Boulevard named fifth most dangerous road in New Jersey for pedestrians , in Florida a Bicyclist Arrested In Attack On 69-Year-Old Pedestrian who didn't get out of his way quickly enough, and in Texas Regional funding crunch pits pedestrians vs. vehicles. Closer to home, just as Momentum builds for pedestrian safety in San Francisco, Streetsblog reports that San Francisco Pedestrian Safety Efforts Mired in City Bureaucracy .

But take heart. Advocacy efforts continue across the world, like in Red Bank, New Jersey, where Advocates urge adoption of bicycle/pedestrian plan, and sometimes they even appear to be having some success, like in Missouri where Nixon to Announce Bicycle, Pedestrian Trail Projects in Ozarks, or Maryland where a new Laurel database monitors pedestrian, bike safety.

And there's more good news out there. A S. Ind. mayor wants to create 'bicycle boulevard', and in Jacksonville, Florida, a Workshop seeks to improve elder walkability, while locally in Ventura 4-H All Stars hope to add Ormond Beach walking path.   Even as far away as South Africa a Pedestrian bridge makes life easier. Let's hope this is sign that life is going to get easier for pedestrians everywhere.

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