Friday, June 17, 2011

This week on foot

This week has been full of debate on the red light camera issue. As you know, Two L.A. councilmen want to hold off ending red-light camera program--but many Angelenos would like to see the program disappear, like Jay Beeber: Folk Hero Stops L.A.'s Red Light Cameras. Even the Freakonomics blog has weighed in, and it's Seeing Red: Why L.A. Needs to Keep its Traffic Light Cameras. The City Council Delays Vote on Red Light Camera Until Tuesday, so it looks like we'll be hearing more about this issue for at least another couple days.

And why do we want those cameras? Two words: pedestrian safety. We're certainly missing it here in Southern California, where just this week there was a Pedestrian killed in Hollywood, and in SAN MARCOS: Pedestrian hit by vehicle, dies. Further east a Pedestrian killed by Metrolink train in Palmdale (okay, probably a camera couldn't have stopped that one, but it's still a sad statement about the dangers pedestrians face.)

Ironically, just as many Angelenos are arguing over red light cameras, the LA Times reports that Crosswalks are increasingly deadly for the elderly within the region. It just goes to show that Walkability’ key to an age-friendly city.
Of course, elsewhere in the country things are a little brighter. Traffic, pedestrian deaths in Utah trending toward new low in 2011; safety efforts credited. Meanwhile, In Washington County, momentum grows for adding bicyclists, pedestrians into transportation system, while an Oregon Bill clarifies traffic stops for pedestrians and in Chicago Diagonal crossings, fewer right on reds could give pedestrians a leg up.

But that doesn't mean everyone out there is supporting pedestrians. In Canada, a Saskatoon pedestrian hit by car to be ticketed, while in Nogales a Pedestrian circulation study sparks debate over priorities. Seems to me that there isn't much to debate when you consider the Lost Value from Wide Streets...but I guess I'm a little biased.

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