Comment 61964

By jonathan (registered) | Posted April 07, 2011 at 20:02:12

I should really get out a video camera and sit at any one of the the stoplights in town to video tape the jaywalkers that do so within 50' of a crosswalk. The corner of Dundurn and Main is notorious for this--people leaving the mall to get at the bus stop on the other side of Main regularly step into traffic, 50' from the stoplight that would enable them to cross safely. Of course, that's just one example. It's a regular occurrence at many of the stoplights I cross on my daily commute. And it doesn't have anything to do with one-way streets--I see the same thing going through the boulevards in Burlington. It's truly ridiculous.

Or, how about the number of pedestrians that begin crossing the street after the orange hand has started flashing? How about those people? We're all supposed to get along, and be courteous to each other's right of way, but pedestrians are just as, if not more so, guilty of selfish behaviour. The fact that they are at the most risk of injury does not exempt them from responsibility.

Don't get me wrong. I'm all for more crosswalks. And I completely agree that our streets must be engineered for safety. But if 80% of the fatalities involving pedestrians are the fault of the pedestrian**, then education MUST be a part of the solution. Simply putting up more crosswalks won't solve everything.

Reducing the speed limit might reduce the severity of the injuries, however, that to me is backwards logic. Drivers are not at fault in the vast majority of the incidents. And I rather doubt that speed is the only cause in those where the driver is at fault. I'd much rather see reduced lanes with wider sidewalks/sidewalk separation than a reduction in the speed limit. This would likely result in a general reduction of speed much more so than setting an arbitrary speed limit. Preferably with the removal of concrete poles from sidewalks. I broke a perfectly good pair of glasses because of those things.

**stats taken from the oft-cited report on the safety of one-way vs two-way streets

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