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Sunday, July 8, 2018

Another interesting article: pedestrian deaths are not as simple as 'drunk walking'

Nashville Pedestrian Death Registry is working to detail all pedestrian deaths in our city.  How, why, where, when do these events occur and under what conditions. Prior to initiating this project in 2017, it did feel that most assumed that alcohol or drugs were involved and there is definitely some who fall into this unfortunate category.  If we make this assumption, people seem to shrug their shoulders and put it into the bucket of 'not much can be done' - people will be intoxicated and they will make mistakes.    The article below, which has been edited, highlights were the pitfalls are when we don't dig deeper and we just assume that this is an inevitable event due to poor choices. 

To Read, Please Click on LINK:  No, 'Drunk Walking' is not causing the rise in pedestrian deaths

Edited article:

The Detroit Free Press reported on one reason America's pedestrians are dying at a higher rate: the growing number of bigger, more dangerous vehicles. It seemed like coverage of pedestrian safety might turn a corner and get over the impulse to blame the victim.

It didn’t last. A new report from PBS News Hour reported, “Pedestrian deaths are up nationwide, fueled by people who walk while drunk.” (which is produced by the Pew Charitable Trusts).
Except that’s not what the evidence says.

PBS's Bergal’s whole case rests on the fact that about 2,000 people who were struck and killed while walking last year had a blood alcohol level in excess of the legal limit — an increase of 300 since 2014.  

The data actually shows that drunk victims are a smaller share of total pedestrian fatalities today than they were in 2014.  Since 2014, pedestrian fatalities have increased 22 percent, according to the Governors Highway Safety Association. The stats reported by PBS News Hour work out to a smaller 18 percent increase in the same period, meaning drunk victims are a smaller share of all pedestrian victims today than in 2014.

In other words, the increase in pedestrian fatalities is clearly not “fueled by people who walk while drunk.”

Bergal reported:
In Austin, where a dozen drunken walkers died in 2016 and seven died in 2017, many crashes were on a stretch of Interstate 35, an eight-lane, high-speed highway divided by a concrete barrier, said police Detective Pat Oborski. The highway is lined with fast-food restaurants on one side and low-cost motels on the other.

Drunken pedestrians cross the highway, going back and forth between the motels and restaurants located on frontage roads, Oborski says. While there’s a bridge over the highway about a quarter of a mile away, some people figure it’s easier to run across than to walk to the bridge.
Without realizing it, Bergal is describing one of the great threats to pedestrians: Dangerous, high-speed arterial roads without safe crossings. These conditions put people on foot at the greatest risk.

Stories like this cause real harm. They give officials in cities like Austin cover not to do anything but blame the victims. They perpetuate the marginalization of people with no choice but to walk on dangerous streets, who are more likely to be poor, black, or brown.

The more press coverage of pedestrians fatalities blames victims, the less pressure there is to rethink the eight-lane speedways and dangerous SUV designs that jeopardize people’s lives.


Wednesday, July 4, 2018

'Pedestrians are 2-3 x more likely to suffer a fatality when struck by an SUV or pickup truck than when struck by a passenger car'

Interesting read...most buy SUVs for the look, space and the safety (their own).  'SUVs, with their higher front-end profile, are at least twice as likely as cars to kill the walkers, joggers and children they hit'.  This is a new angle to consider - how these vehicles effect the safety of others particularly those on foot.

As someone highly interested in tracking these deaths, see, the type of vehicle driven should be listed in the data collected on each pedestrian death.


This picture says it all.  Everything is geared to the person IN THE CAR and NOT someone on foot.  The width of the road, the height of the signage.  This is NOT a safe or healthy place for a pedestrian.

Death on foot: America's love of SUVs is killing pedestrians America's love for SUVs is killing pedestrians, and federal safety regulators have known for years.

The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety calculated an 81 percent increase in single-vehicle pedestrian fatalities involving SUVs in 2009-16. The Free Press/USA TODAY analysis of the same federal data, counting vehicles that struck and killed pedestrians rather than the number of people killed, showed a 69 percent increase in SUV involvement.

'Pedestrians are 2-3 x more likely to suffer a fatality when struck by an SUV or pickup truck than when struck by a passenger car'


Tuesday, July 3, 2018

Idle-Free City?

The heat and exhaust from cars can be overwhelming for pedestrians - especially at this time of year.

Just a reminder and something to consider

Monday, July 2, 2018

Walking District Pace Car Bumper Stickers Available!

Walking District Pace Car Bumper Stickers
are available!

3 neighborhoods have active Walking Districts - West End/Hillsboro, Cleveland Park (East) and Una
(Antioch).  Speed limits are reduced to 20 mph on neighborhood streets and 25mph on collectors roads.


The concept of a Walking Districts is pretty straightforward.  Designed for local streets that are highly walked but have a low Sidewalk Priority Index (SPI) score.  With our current system of using the SPI, these areas would be last on the list of sidewalk creation.  And, maybe rightfully so.  The areas I am talking about are low volume in vehicular traffic neighborhoods and many have a park-like feel.  

The concept entails 3 things making it a quick, easy, and inexpensive fix.  The first is signage:  a sign announcing that you are entering a Walking District.  The second is a street decal (think of the bicycle decal you see on roadways but change it to a pedestrian).  The third is a speed limit reduction to 20mph.


Sunday, July 1, 2018

John Zimmer from Lyft: 'We don't need as many roads and parking lots'

NPR - How I Built This -Lyft - John-Zimmer

I agree with John Zimmer.  'Until we've accomplished the fact that you don't need to own a car in a city, until we've accomplished the fact that we don't need as many roads and parking lots in our cities, until we allow for our cities to be, you know, redesigned around the people living in them instead of the cars that are parked in them, then we're not happy'.

We want cites that are built for the PEOPLE and not just cars & their parking...  

Not this...