Thursday, June 2, 2011

This Week on Foot

Why Do The Designs Of Our Roads Consistently Ignore The Safety Needs Of Pedestrians? our friends in Hartford ask this week. Well, perhaps it's because of articles like this one that place the blame for crashes on those annoying walkers...since as everyone knows that Distracted Pedestrians Pose Hazard to Themselves, Drivers

Of course, the real question is what to do about the problem. Many believe that better roadway design is a good start, which is why Complete Streets Bill Introduced in Senate this week. But Watch your steps -- Without policy changes, expect more pedestrian fatalities . Hopefully things won't get as bad as they are in India, where there's a 40% rise in pedestrian deaths so far this year. Seems like India could use some New opportunities for New Urbanism? Or perhaps they could learn some lessons from Eugene, Oregon about Staying safe on dangerous streets .

Of course, it turns out that one safety improvement tested in Oregon isn't working so well, as we learn from TriMet: Audible pedestrian warning system is not effective. Maybe Oregon could follow London's lead, where Pedestrian Crossing For Parliament Square Could End Brian Haw Protest.

More pedestrian crossings might help out here in LA as well, where we can at least be happy (?) with news from the CHP: 1 person - not 3 - died on LA County roads it patrols during Memorial Day weekend . Still, I'm not sure this means we've really solved the The foot challenge for Sun Belt cities.
 As they're saying in Idaho, it's Time to take risk to Twin Falls pedestrians well as the risks to pedestrians in other states.

Maybe part of the problem is inconsistency. For instance, this week Crime Voice noted that Penalties vary for fatal text-and-drive crashes. Then again, it could be poor urban design, as in Madison where one Pedestrian claims Dollar General failed to provide safe entrance. Of course, there's always this problem: 11-year-old motorist hits vehicles, pedestrian at Kansas mobile home park.

Not really sure what to do about that last one, unless you choose to go the escapist route and lose your worries in some good literature. If so, you might want to check out 'The Most Beautiful Walk in the World: A Pedestrian in Paris' by John Baxter

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