Greater Greater Washington

843 people died walking in the DC region in the last 10 years

Over half of recent pedestrian deaths in our region happened on wide, high-speed arterial roads. When will traffic engineers, elected officials, and residents get serious about fixing dangerous street designs?


Pedestrians navigate Virginia's Route 1 without sidewalks. Photo by Cheryl Cort.

A new report out today from the National Complete Streets Coalition chronicles pedestrian fatalities and injuries and ranks every state, metro region and county based upon the degree of danger pedestrians face.

Our region fares relatively well, ranking 35 out of the 51 largest metro areas (with 1 being the most dangerous). At the same time, the report found that 843 pedestrians were killed in the region from 2003 to 2012an unacceptable number no matter the DC region's current ranking. The danger for minorities, young people, and older adults, as well as those walking along suburban arterial roads, is particularly high.

In state rankings, Maryland placed 15th and Virginia 22nd, and DC 49th on the Pedestrian Danger Index. That combines fatality rates and the share of local commuters who walk to work. 269 of Maryland's fatalities occurred in Prince George's County, accounting for over 30% of the region's deaths.

The report includes an online, interactive map showing the locations where drivers have fatally struck people walking. It includes several tragic examples documented on this blog, such as the elementary school principal in Loudoun County who was killed trying to cross a four-lane, 35 mph road.

The report also highlights the inequality of traffic violence, with older adults, children and minorities dying in disproportionate numbers. In each jurisdiction, Hispanics suffered an average pedestrian death rate higher than non-Hispanic whites; the rate is 135% higher in DC. African-Americans have fared similarly in recent years, dying 126% more often in DC.

While they comprise about 10% of the overall population, older adults accounted for 15-22% of pedestrian fatalities. Tragically, children under the age of 15 are also frequently at risk: from 2003 to 2010, 47 children in Virginia, 71 children in Maryland, and 11 children in DC were killed while walking.


Comparison of national pedestrian danger for various demographic groups. Image from the report.

"We are allowing an epidemic of pedestrian fatalities, brought on by streets designed for speed and not safety, to take nearly 5,000 lives a year nationwidea number that increased six percent between 2011 and 2012," said Roger Millar, Director of the National Complete Streets Coalition. "Not only is that number simply too high, but these deaths are easily prevented through policy, design, and practice. State and local transportation leaders need to prioritize the implementation of Complete Streets policies to improve safety and comfort for people walking."

Across the Washington, DC region, jurisdictions have been working in recent years to make their streets safer and more welcoming for pedestrians. Most jurisdictions in this region have adopted Complete Streets policies to make walking safe for all users, though physically redesigning dangerous streets has been slow.

In the Washington region, a few examples of complete streets include wider sidewalks and "bulbouts" on Georgia Avenue in Petworth to ease crossings, and a redesign of Lawyers Road in Reston that took a four lane road to two lanes plus bike lanes and a middle turn lane. VDOT officials say they've seen a 77% reduction in crashes since the redesign.


Bill Deatherage, of the Kentucky Council of the Blind, walking along Louisville, KY's Brownsboro Road before and after sidewalk construction. Photo by Anne M. McMahon, courtesy of Smart Growth America.

According to the report, arterial roads present the greatest danger to pedestrians: in Maryland, Virginia, and DC, a majority of pedestrian deaths occurred on high-speed arterials. Rockville Pike or Route 1 are examples of arterial roads that have both local businesses and destinations that attract pedestrians, while also trying to move regional traffic through at high speeds.

Several jurisdictions are trying to reinvent places like Tysons Corner, White Flint, or Route 1 as walkable, mixed-use destinations, but it will be imperative to redesign the arterials that divide those communities if they are to succeed.

Unfortunately, many obstacles to safer streets remain. Especially in the suburbs, old plans with inertia continue to move places in the wrong direction, including adding lanes to Route 7 in the core of Tysons. In DC, pedestrian advocates are still simply seeking transparent pedestrian crash data from DDOT to be able to better identify the most dangerous intersections.

Everyone deserves the ability to walk safely to home, work, school, or get groceries. As more people make the sustainable, healthy choice to walk, the dangers of our auto-oriented infrastructure are becoming more apparent. This report should be a wakeup call to traffic engineers, elected officials, and all of us. New York City has set a goal for zero traffic deaths in 10 years. Are we ready for the challenge?

Kelly Blynn is the Campaign Manager for the Coalition for Smarter Growth's Next Generation of Transit Campaign, and a member of the pedestrian advocacy organization All Walks DC. She is a former international campaigner at the climate change group 350.org, and is now passionate about organizing locally with communities for sustainable and equitable transportation in the Washington, DC region. 

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How much of Maryland's poor ranking comes from the Maryland Drivers™?

But snark aside, stroads are such a huge problem in this region, mostly outside of DC (but including stretches of NY and RI Aves, among others). Reducing the number of lanes would go a long ways towards changing that.

Also, what are the statistics on non-fatal injuries? Those would seem pretty important too. I'd be interested in a map of car-pedestrian collisions of any kind.

by LowHeadways on May 21, 2014 12:57 pm • linkreport

I'd like to know how many people died prematurely because they don't walk (or bike). At least in my county, the data-driven efforts to reduce pedestrian fatalities focus on the very narrow causes--such as drunk pedestrians crossing US-1 in College Park and MD-193 in Langley Park.

The police and SHA are not seriously looking at the rampant driver violations of the crosswalk rule, because their data show that the fatalities are caused by pedestrian error. The police and SHA give no consideration to the fact that the driver was not looking because drivers don't look, because they don't have to look, because pedestrians generally stay out of their way, because drivers do not have to obey the law. Nor do their data tell them that more people would walk and bike and therefore live longer if drivers always stopped for pedestrians.

by JimT on May 21, 2014 1:25 pm • linkreport

If you look at where the accidents happen in DC, I think it looks like a good amount of these could be related to commuters. Connecticut Ave, New York Ave, 16th and 14th st. I always see people driving recklessly on Park on their way to Piney Branch Parkway/Beach Drive/Klingle. Otherwise I generally find drivers in the area pretty aware and pedestrian friendly. When you let people get into a highway mentality in the city it's very dangerous.

by BTA on May 21, 2014 1:30 pm • linkreport

Would love to see some local politicians talking about vision zero.

by wd on May 21, 2014 1:34 pm • linkreport

@JimT +1

by Tina on May 21, 2014 1:39 pm • linkreport

The problem with that, JimT, though I agree in principle is people HATE to be able to be told not to drive. Safety and "transit / active transportation options" plays much better. As a walker / transit rider I always get people expressing concern for my safety (which I believe comes from a good place) but looking like they are 10-20 years away from a massive heart attack themselves...

by BTA on May 21, 2014 1:40 pm • linkreport

If you look at where the accidents happen in DC, I think it looks like a good amount of these could be related to commuters.

It looks like a lot of them have occurred on arterial roads. Nearly all of them, actually. I think that's a combination of poor road design and high speed. My guess is that speed is a major contributing factor in the context of fatalities, as a fatality is much less likely in a low speed collision.

These roads carry commuters, but plenty of locals as well. Nationally, almost half of all pedestrian fatalities occur between 9PM and 6AM. In total, over 70% of pedestrian fatalities occur after 6PM. My guess is that pedestrian fatalities during the rush hours of 7-10AM and 4-7PM, when commuters are most likely to be on the roads, are relatively infrequent. That could have something to do with the heavy traffic during rush hour slowing people down.

by Scoot on May 21, 2014 1:54 pm • linkreport

I've lived in the area for 20+ years, mostly as a walker when I lived downtown but now the past two years as a transit rider and driver (50-50). Every day that I walked, I saw some car (or bike rider) blow through a cross walk. Every day that I drive, I see pedestrians race across the street not at a crosswalk -- mostly to catch a bus -- with some near misses. Yes, let's design our roads, transit stops and sidewalks with safety in mind. But I also wish that walkers, drivers and transit riders would all understand that they are creating dangerous conditions for all of us (and themselves) when they act like they do not need to follow the rules.

by Kate on May 21, 2014 2:00 pm • linkreport

Commuters/out of towners, same diff.

by BTA on May 21, 2014 2:02 pm • linkreport

Kate: I also wish that walkers, drivers and transit riders would all understand that they are creating dangerous conditions for all of us (and themselves)

With pedestrians, it's literally just for themselves. They'll be the one injured or killed. Not the driver.

Drivers are the ones in control of the deadly weapon, and I wish more of them would recognize the unbelievably serious implications of that responsibility.

by LowHeadways on May 21, 2014 2:04 pm • linkreport

I wish more people would not ignore that red hand and try to sprint across in front of cars. The more I drive around here, the more I want a dash cam to prove that I was going 25 and had a green light when that person stepped out from behind a bus mid-block at the L'Enfant Metro station like every single day.

Everyone, it seems, regardless of the mode they're using the propel themselves around, appears to be so incredibly self-centered and has an attitude that the rules of the road only apply to everyone else. Gee, maybe crossing two lanes of traffic then standing on the yellow line waiting for a gap was a terrible idea? NOPE. Go down the crosswalk or corner or whatever and wait for the signals to be in your favor like that cluster of five people 40 feet away are doing.

by Another Nick on May 21, 2014 2:18 pm • linkreport

843 over 10 years, or an average of 8.43 per year. In other words, the number of pedestrians killed by motor vehicles in the entire region in the average year is about one tenth the number of people murdered just in the district itself yet people are still demanding that the police make preventing these 8 deaths a top priority and that millions (billions?) of dollars be spent on new infrastructure and infrastructure changes to address this issue?

I can't recall the exact number of people who died after being hit by Metro trains last year but I'm pretty sure it was in the double digits so I guess we'd better shut that death trap of a system down pronto!

Yes, every death is a tragedy and we should do whatever possible to get that number down but this blog should be above this kind of sensationalistic fearmongering over a non-existent "epidemic of pedestrian fatalities."

by Jacob on May 21, 2014 2:19 pm • linkreport

I have seen dangerous actions by pedestrians too (crossing against the light and the like) and I have no problem with giving tickets to pedestrians engaged in dangerous activity. But in terms of responsibility the system has to be such that drivers always assume the burden of acting safely. That includes driving slowly (sub 30 mph) when pedestrians are around or could be.

by BTA on May 21, 2014 2:20 pm • linkreport

I want a dash cam to prove that I was going 25 and had a green light when that person stepped out from behind a bus mid-block at the L'Enfant Metro station like every single day.

If you want a dash cam, what's stopping you from getting one? Afraid that it might record your own behavior as well as everyone else's?

by Scoot on May 21, 2014 2:20 pm • linkreport

@Jacob I believe your math is wrong. It is silly to compare to murder as well. I don't think anyone wakes up in the morning and says hey I want to kill a pedestrian today on my way to work.

by turtlepower on May 21, 2014 2:25 pm • linkreport

I don't see how lowering speed limits would cost billions of $ in infrastructure?

by BTA on May 21, 2014 2:30 pm • linkreport

Jacob,

A: your math is wrong. You misplaced the decimal. It's 84 fatalities per year.

B: A very rough calculation puts this fatality rate at about 16 or 17 deaths per 100K. It's hard to find a homicide rate for the whole region but the rate in DC for 2010 was 21.9. Higher yes, but comporable and DC has a much higher rate than its neighbors.

by drumz on May 21, 2014 2:38 pm • linkreport

ed: lots of caveats about how to interpret all that and what's comparable but with the bottom line being: Yes, it does make sense to devote resources to all these proposed fixes.

by drumz on May 21, 2014 2:52 pm • linkreport

@drumz: According to this table from the FBI, in 2012 the rate of murder/100K population for the metro area was 3.6. Of course, that's using the huge metro area population of nearly 6 million, including places like Frederick, Fredericksburg, and Jefferson county, WV.

Even still, that whole area had only 210 murders in 2012.

by Gray on May 21, 2014 2:56 pm • linkreport

@drumz

You also missed a decimal place. Instead of 16 or 17, you should say 1.6 or 1.7 deaths per 100k population per year...assuming you meant per year. I guess it's about 16 or 17 per 100k over a 10 year period, but then you're comparing it a 21.9 number that appears to be per year (and not per 10 years).

Or am I misreading what you're saying?

by jh on May 21, 2014 3:01 pm • linkreport

The thing is no matter what transit option you decide on, everyone is going to be a walker. Even if you drive, you eventually have to park somewhere and walk. I think many drivers who feel that pedestrians "throw themselves" into traffic by not paying attention, may themselves be guilty of the same thing without actually realizing it. Ask yourself: "When I park my car mid-block and I have to go across the street, how do I get there?" Chances are you do the same thing as the jaywalkers, you walk across the street instead of walking down to the end of the block.

My point is that all those drivers who complain about pedestrians will get out of their cars and walk. Then the next driver may be complaining about them.

by dc denizen on May 21, 2014 3:01 pm • linkreport

jh,

Sorry, that was something I forgot to explicity mention. Yes its 16 over that ten year period.

I'm going off what I could find in a few quick minutes of googling.

But you have 84 people a year dying in the region compared to murders just in DC.

But that ignores bike fatalities or people dying in a car as well. And things like street calming help those populations as well.

Moreover, while murder rates are justifiably talked about we hardly ever have real discussion about the sheer number of traffic fatalities we have in this country that society has largely internalized as normal.

None of this is to say one problem is more worthy of attention than another but its clearly a serious problem.

by drumz on May 21, 2014 3:09 pm • linkreport

So yeah, take my numbers with a huge grain of salt but they're more comparable than people may realize. I just don't think its publicized enough.

by drumz on May 21, 2014 3:13 pm • linkreport

For DC one way to quickly approach Zero would be to set the maximum speed limit on all roadways shared by drivers, cyclists and pedestrians to 20 MPH. A speed at which few pedestrians would die if struck.

Throw in a few more speed cameras - which pay for themselves ;) - and were there! No $ billions spent.

by jeffb on May 21, 2014 4:04 pm • linkreport

It also ignores that a lot of people are permanently disabled by accidents, possibly as many or more than die but the implications can still be quite severe obviously.

by BTA on May 21, 2014 4:06 pm • linkreport

@dc denizen - actually I once had a pedestrian throw himself into traffic in front of my car. I was driving and waiting at the light for it to change...first in line and in the left lane of the one way street I was on. The other two lanes also had cars waiting to go. So this pedestrian legally crosses the cross-street in front of me and to my left, then turns and continues into the crosswalk in front of me with an oblivious? smile on his face right as I get the green light. So I laid full on my horn at him, then gestured to the lights once he stopped in his tracks, still with the stupid smile on his face. Which told me he was going to cross wherever and whenever he felt like, and traffic had better well darn stop for him. Frightening to think how he was endangering himself...and no, I didn't flip him off although he deserved it :-)

I think this pedestrian just thought he could get away with crossing any street, anywhere at anytime and traffic would just screech to a halt for him even if he didn't have the right of way. A few minutes later, a few blocks away, I saw him do the exact same thing again. Sigh. But fortunately, most pedestrians are not like that.

by DaveG on May 21, 2014 4:25 pm • linkreport

@DaveG
I don't doubt that some peds "throw themselves" into traffic. My point, though, is that before people start pointing fingers they should observe their own behavior. I have coworkers who drive to and from work and complain about pedestrian behavior. However, when I watch them walk around in the city - for lunch or whatever - they commit the same offenses they rail against, that is, throw themselves into traffic. They just don't consider themselves "pedestrians" since they drive mostly. All drivers are walkers sometime. It's highly unlikely that all those drivers are law-abiding pedestrians too.

by dc denizen on May 21, 2014 4:52 pm • linkreport

@Jacob,

DC's publicly available budget documents show that the District spends around $4 million per year on ped and bicycle safety. By comparison, DC MPD spends around $17 million per year investigating and disrupting narcotics and weapons trafficking, which is just a small part of its crime services unit. And a good chunk of DC's spending on bike and ped safety is not demonstrably better infrastructure but rather education campaigns and enforcement blitzes that haven't shown to change behavior in the long term.

I can assure you that billions are not being spent on improving ped or bike infrastructure, nor is anyone suggesting we do. What I think people want to see are smart improvements in key areas that have shown to work in practice, and they are not very expensive to implement.

by Scoot on May 21, 2014 4:57 pm • linkreport

@dc denizen - I agree about the hypocrisy...and I don't think you can find many pedestrians who obey crossing signals, etc. to the letter. Many if not most people will probably cross against the light if traffic is light enough.

by DaveG on May 21, 2014 5:05 pm • linkreport

DaveG

In fairfax I often cross a street that has only a non-signalized crosswalk. I ALWAYS cross IN the crosswalk. Its the law in Va that drivers must yield to peds IN crosswalks. about 80% or so do not even slow down unless there is a ped right in front of them about to get hit. about 19% slow down some. Maybe 1% slow down dramatically or stop to allow a ped already in the crosswalk to get across. The reality is the only safe way to cross is to do exactly what one would do with no crosswalk - wait for a gap in traffic.

If drivers ignore crosswalks, why would one expect pedestrians to use them?

by AWalkerInTheCity on May 21, 2014 5:07 pm • linkreport

It's important to be safe no matter what type of road user you are at a given moment :-)

by DaveG on May 21, 2014 5:08 pm • linkreport

and if you are a pedestrian and are equally safe crossing outside a crosswalk as inside one, there is precious little incentive to go even 20 ft out of your way to cross IN the crosswalk.

by AWalkerInTheCity on May 21, 2014 5:10 pm • linkreport

To get back to policy.

What that tells me, is that to reduce the pedestrian fatality rate, the priorities need to be infra structure and driver behavior.

Oh, and urban design.

You know one place in Fairfax where drivers UNFAILINGLY (in my experience) yield to pedestrians? Where they are amazingly polite?

Mosaic District. Its not something in the water, and I don't think its superior enforcement. Its pedestrian friendly design.

by AWalkerInTheCity on May 21, 2014 5:12 pm • linkreport

The role of alcohol is being overlooked here. In roughly one-third of pedestrian fatalities, the pedestrian was legally intoxicated.

"The data showed the large majority of pedestrian deaths occurred in urban areas, at non-intersections, at night and many involved alcohol." -- NHTSA

by Jack on May 21, 2014 5:21 pm • linkreport

I can't speak for Fairfax but my experience in DC is similar to AWalker's. In Adams Morgan, particularly on Connecticut Ave and Columbia Road, most drivers will not stop for a pedestrian in a crosswalk. That includes drivers of Metrobuses. I don't know if it's an 80-20 split, but it's probably over 50%. I imagine it is similar in most other neighborhoods, if not worse.

The law requires that drivers stop for a pedestrian in a crosswalk if it is reasonable to do so. So waiting for a gap and crossing ahead of a driver with enough time to stop are theoretically safe. The latter of course is more risky if a driver is not paying attention and doesn't stop, which personally I've never experienced even though I've crossed non-signalized crosswalks thousands of times in DC. It's a lot more likely that the driver will swerve around you, honk at you, or near-miss you on purpose.

by Scoot on May 21, 2014 5:24 pm • linkreport

"Alcohol-impaired driving fatalities accounted for 31 percent of the total motor vehicle traffic fatalities in the United States."

Cool, thanks for blaming the victim because clearly no one ever drives drunk, they just walk drunk.

Not to mention that if someone's drunk, don't we want them walking?!

by LowHeadways on May 21, 2014 5:34 pm • linkreport

I agree that the pedestrian intoxication statistic cannot be ignored. Saying that people walk drunk is not an admission that no one drives drunk or a statement on how people should behave if they are drunk.

However I think too often the statistics on pedestrian intoxication reason that the intoxication had something to do with the accident, which is an awfully difficult determination to make especially when the pedestrian has died.

by Scoot on May 21, 2014 5:44 pm • linkreport

@Another Nick: I wish more people would not ignore that red hand and try to sprint across in front of cars. The more I drive around here, the more I want a dash cam to prove that I was going 25 and had a green light when that person stepped out from behind a bus mid-block at the L'Enfant Metro station like every single day.

If somebody steps out from behind a bus mid-block at the L'Enfant Metro station like every single day, then you should know to beware, while you're driving, of people stepping out from behind a bus mid-block at the L'Enfant Metro station. And if you can't stop for them in time when you're going 25 mph, then drive more slowly.

by Miriam on May 21, 2014 8:44 pm • linkreport

Pedestrians are more likely to die in a crosswalk than in a mid-block crossing. Until there is enforcement at crosswalks, and drivers actually start respecting them, telling pedestrians to only cross at crosswalks is basically telling them to get out of the way and die.

by Mike on May 22, 2014 7:17 am • linkreport

Even with the correct decimal place, it doesn't seem like that many people.

by Theo16 on May 22, 2014 7:25 am • linkreport

Theo16,

A: that number is just pedestrians.

B: the outrage isn't over the numbers per se. It's over the lack of care exhibited by authorities. There's the infrastructure side which has led to decades of road planning that ignored pedestrians (making things more dangerous) and is just now being haphazardly addressed. Then there is the law enforcement side which has a long and shameful tradition of basically just taking the drivers word for it in every collision as long as that driver is sober.

by drumz on May 22, 2014 8:21 am • linkreport

California has been using "smart crosswalks" for 20 years and

""" With over 427 million (ed.note-up until 2003) vehicle crossings since installation, the number of reported accidents is about 80% less than might be expected from uncontrolled marked crosswalks with “average” crosswalk treatments."""

http://www.urbanstreet.info/2nd_sym_proceedings/Volume%202/Miller.pdf

80% less !

 photo f0783a3e-c0bf-4df2-820c-ccd679b3f2e4.gif

I got MPD to station a policeman at 14th and Swann during heavy use times and he tickets cars every few minutes for endangering pedestrians in the mid-block crosswalk. He's from Seattle which also has smart crosswalks and doesn't understand why they're not here. They cost $25K to $50K.

by Tom Coumaris on May 22, 2014 9:54 am • linkreport

"They cost $25K to $50K"...after every winter

by Mike on May 22, 2014 1:29 pm • linkreport


The police and SHA are not seriously looking at the rampant driver violations of the crosswalk rule, because their data show that the fatalities are caused by pedestrian error. The police and SHA give no consideration to the fact that the driver was not looking because drivers don't look, because they don't have to look, because pedestrians generally stay out of their way, because drivers do not have to obey the law. Nor do their data tell them that more people would walk and bike and therefore live longer if drivers always stopped for pedestrians.

This bears a striking resemblance to the broken window hypothesis for reducing crime.

by Jeffb on May 22, 2014 6:19 pm • linkreport

"We are allowing an epidemic of pedestrian fatalities, brought on by streets designed for speed and not safety."

First, as an individual who was hit by a vehicle as a child (it was probably more my fault as I darted into the road), I do believe pedestrians should have safe paths to use. But come on!!! STREETS ARE FOR CARS. I don't understand why this is confusing to some people. Again, STREETS ARE FOR CARS. Of course they should be designed for speed, THEY'RE FOR CARS! I have a perfect example of where some of this reporting is flawed. I worked on L St NW and was pulling out of the garage one afternoon onto a ONE WAY street. I was at the edge of the sidewalk to merge and was looking left...because it was a ONE WAY street and traffic was coming from the left. I go to make my turn and right there is a biker streaking in front of me. Luckily I was able to stop because I'm not a crazy driver. But would it have been my fault if I ran him over with my SUV because he was coming down the wrong way on a ONE WAY street? Should I have looked right before turning on a ONE WAY street!? I would bet that it's not very often that pedestrian accidents are the driver's fault; my guess is that most accidents that involve pedestrians occur because the pedestrian did not follow a rule of the road.

The average driver makes about 200 decisions per minute (https://www.osha.gov/Publications/motor_vehicle_guide.html) and I believe most of these "pedestrian safety" pushes will only increase that making driving more difficult. Don't punish the driver who is already making 200 decisions per minute by adding more to it, train the pedestrians on what to look for to stay safe.

by StringsAttached on May 23, 2014 9:01 am • linkreport

STREETS ARE FOR CARS.

No, they're not. We've designed many of our streets that way, but this is not some universal truth.

Streets in cities predate the car by several centuries.

Also, the word choice matters. If you want to say that roads are for cars, I wouldn't disagree. But a 'street' and a 'road' not not the same thing. Talking about streets in DC and we're talking about everything from buidling face to building face - sidewalks, roadway, trees, etc.

by Alex B. on May 23, 2014 9:07 am • linkreport

"STREETS ARE FOR CARS. I don't understand why this is confusing to some people"

Because they are not. They are for cars, trucks, buses, motorcycles, and bicycles.

And pedestrians need to be able to safely cross them, and to walk on sidewalks beside them safely and comfortably.

Note well the original point of this thread is about pedestrians, not about bicyclists.

"I would bet that it's not very often that pedestrian accidents are the driver's fault; my guess is that most accidents that involve pedestrians occur because the pedestrian did not follow a rule of the road."

I am quite sure you are wrong. Need I again mention the non signalized crosswalks in FFX where less than 5% of motorists yield to pedestrians in the crosswalk?

by AWalkerInTheCity on May 23, 2014 9:12 am • linkreport

STREETS ARE FOR CARS
Streets are for moving people and goods.

Cars/trucks are only one way to do this. And in the case where we have the most issues - peak period travel to work - they are not the most efficient way (space-wise) to move people. So we need to encourage people to use other methods for their transportation needs.

my guess is that most accidents that involve pedestrians occur because the pedestrian did not follow a rule of the road.
Rules that are nearly universally designed for the convenience and ease of people in cars. Is it any wonder that other users might find them burdensome? We need to design the streets and rules for efficiency of total movement, not one anointed group.

by MLD on May 23, 2014 9:17 am • linkreport

"Should I have looked right before turning on a ONE WAY street!? " Uh, yeah, actually. You aren't allowed to strike a pedestrian merely because you can't be bothered to look both ways.

by Chris S on May 23, 2014 12:13 pm • linkreport

I had no idea that streets were invented after cars! I thought they had built for hundreds of years to accomodate pedestrian and other vehicle movement. Guess I have a lot to learn about history.

by BTA on May 23, 2014 12:20 pm • linkreport

About flashing crosswalks, probably most of the cost is putting them in the roadway and bringing electrical out - that's nice if you got 50k
What about this design? It flashes when people want to cross, and it's solar powered. https://www.google.com/maps/@39.096294,-77.155369,3a,90y,258.41h,84.8t/data=!3m4!1e1!3m2!1s_VzReex6_kmbqYcEa6LjDA!2e0!6m1!1e1

(btw. before US streets were for motor vehicles, they generally were for rolling barrels and/or horse carts. Pedestrians were in danger then, too.

by asffa on May 24, 2014 11:13 am • linkreport

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