4.10.2007

DC and Pedestrian Safety

Washington DC's new mayor Adrian Fenty is getting proactive on making the city streets more safe for pedestrians...

but I am not sure about its effectiveness...

I have heard that there are some PSA announcements on WTOP Radio
as I do not listen to WTOP I have yet to hear such a PSA
I do think that the PSA is a step in the right direction

but the effort to curb behavior by issuing pedestrians tickets if they take a misstep off the curb
why?
because there is no reason for the pedestrian to try and cross in the crosswalk when it says WALK as it there is no reason to think that they are any more safe then crossing mid block or when it says DON'T WALK

I say...
continue with the PSA announcements
issue a campaign where the message is sent out before the punishment is delivered

in addition to PSA announcements there could be communication to the people through the schools
if parents of children could all drive as if they were parents of children...
well, that alone would be a step towards a more CIVIL CITY
control the chaos of the cars before penalizing the pedestrians (and the cyclists)

if this were Nova Scotia where people yeild to pedestrians
where pedestrians have the right of way
well... then you could consider issuing a ticket to the pedestrian for a misstep off the curb
but this is Washington DC
where the streets are complete chaos
the pedestrians are crossing when and where they choose
as they are crossing when they feel safe
there is no time where a pedestrian would feel more safe because the light or the cross walk is allegedly in their favor

continue with the PSAs
once the buzz about Pedestrian Safety and DC's intention to enforce the laws
then clamp down hard
stick to a few simple issues...

COMPLETE STOPS AT THE STOP SIGN AT THE STOP LINE
DO NOT BLOCK THE BOX
YIELD TO PEDESTRIANS
and
NO CELL PHONES OR TEXT MESSAGING WHILE DRIVING

once the cars step in line the pedestrians can follow
but until then
the pedestrian should not be punished for just trying to get across the street

3 comments:

Alex said...

If you are to enforce cars yielding to pedestrians when pedestrians have the right of way, it only makes sense to enforce pedestrians yielding to traffic when pedestrians don't have the right of way. Otherwise the bottom line is that traffic will not move.

gwadzilla said...

very true...

but even having the walk signal or the right of way is like running with the bulls in this town

Alex said...

that's true. Interestingly, in NYC where there are far more cars and far more pedestrians, overall it seemed to me to work better for both than it does here.