Comment 107129

By JustinJones (registered) - website | Posted December 16, 2014 at 12:18:53 in reply to Comment 107127

"Isn't that an unfair stance to have?"

No. No it's not. Because despite your dismissive characterization of drivers "occasionally" making mistakes, while those rotten seniors, students and other pedestrians run across the street "a great deal", the facts just simply don't bear your argument out. All you need to do is take a look through the Ontario Coroner's Review on Pedestrian Deaths, or pretty much any document highlighting the circumstances under which a group of pedestrians died, to see that the "great deal" of lawlessness you speak of is responsible for many fewer incidents than the "occasional" errors made by drivers. Drivers turning without looking, whether it's a right turn or a left turn, strike more pedestrians in intersections that have the right of way than don't. Simple as that.

What Many RTH commenters and contributors, myself included, are saying, however, is that while some individual accountability must exist for one's actions while behind the wheel, it's unfair to place the entire burden on the shoulders of an individual who makes a mistake while they're using a piece of infrastructure that is, in effect, designed to fail. We know from looking at experiences in other cities and other countries that there are alternative designs available which minimize the conflict between all road users. We know that with a little bit of work (narrowing traffic lanes, tightening up curb radii, installing more signalized crossings etc), we can reduce the severity of damage that occurs when a human being does what humans do, which is make a mistake.

The RTH user base is not anti-car. In fact, most of us who contribute regularly, like most people, have a car. We drive when it makes sense (and even sometimes when it doesn't), so it's not like we fall on the militant, "One Less Car" type side of things. What we ARE militant about, however, is making decisions about our infrastructure based on the best available evidence, not just using "it's always been done that way" and "Because cars want to go fast" as justification. And when you start looking at the evidence, RTHS, the case becomes pretty clear. We're paying a tonne of money to build and maintain infrastructure that is removing the choice in how people move around because they don't feel safe walking or biking next to cars travelling at 70km/h. We then pay even more in health care costs due to inactivity, to say nothing of the costs to our system resulting from the people killed and injured by human error on our roads. We're militant about instituting policies and designing projects so that when people make a mistake - and that's when, not if - there's a better chance that everyone involved gets to go home to their families, and without a death on their hands and conscience.

We have these tools available to us - we know that they work, and we know what the consequences are if we don't use them - so why is it so much of a problem for you that people advocate safety over speed?

Permalink | Context

Events Calendar

Recent Articles

Article Archives

Blog Archives

Site Tools