By Joey ColemanPublished January 23, 2011
The results of my research into the 11 fatal pedestrian/vehicle incidents of 2010 has resulted in this map.
Joey Coleman covers Hamilton Civic Affairs.
Read more of his work at The Public Record, or follow him on Twitter @JoeyColeman.
By Lord Elgin (anonymous) | Posted January 24, 2011 at 10:05:21
Thanks Joey for another sobering and relevant piece of work. Looking at the average age of those killed in the incidents, we need to pitch safety to seniors: both drivers and pedestrians alike. Clearly our network of fast-moving roads with sparse safe crosswalks and mazes of parking lots is killing our elders.
By SpaceMonkey (registered) | Posted January 24, 2011 at 10:35:37
Did you even read the descriptions of the collisions?
Lady went out to get her mail
Gore Park and James intersection while bus turning (slow speed, there is a crosswalk there)
Occured in a parking lot
Family car in driveway
Cyclist on James (details unclear)
Person slipped under a truck
Person walking along a main street in the country
Cyclist on two way street
Slow moving 2 way street with a cross walk within a maximum of(most likely less than) 100m
Country road, impaired driver
one way/two way intersection with crosswalks.
Based on the above, how you can come to the conclusion that a lack of crosswalks and "mazes" of parking lots is killing our elders is beyond me. If anything, it says the opposite of that. It would be ridiculous to do so, but if one wanted to try to draw a conclusion from the above data, it would seem that crosswalks, driveways, parking lots, public transit and going out to get your mail are the problem. Obviously that isn't the problem, but I'm just trying to point out how far fetched it is for you to suggest the conclusion that you came up with based on the data provided.
By say what (anonymous) | Posted January 24, 2011 at 19:21:09
Mostly 2 way streets, we should convert all streets to one way to make them safe ROTFL
By SpaceMonkey (registered) | Posted January 24, 2011 at 19:45:40
2 of the 4 collisions in the downtown area occurred on James St. Wasn't safety one of the issues put forth as a reason for the conversion of James to 2 way? If this isn't a sign that 2 way streets are not safer, I don't know what is.
I guess Brad Clark was right 2 years ago. "Stoney Creek councillor Brad Clark pointed out that New York City is converting its two-way streets to one way for safety reasons, using information that is diametrically opposite to what city staff are presenting to councillors".
From the same article 2 years ago. "But proponents of the plan said the two-way conversion is the first step to create a “livable” community for residents". Livable? I guess that was a fail.
By z jones (registered) | Posted January 24, 2011 at 20:37:02
Yeah, the fact that there are about five times as many people walking on James St now as there were before the street went two way has nothing to do with it.
By JoeyColeman (registered) - website | Posted January 24, 2011 at 21:19:32
I compiled this map to assist myself in visualizing what seems to be a large number of deaths last year.
I was surprised by the rural incidents - I rarely feel concerned by traffic while on rural roads.
In terms of the incidents on James, one must factor in the substantially higher foot traffic in the central core.
It seems that awareness is the issue in many of the cases, not faults in urban design.
Eventually, it is my hope for Open Data to include information such as accidents requiring medical attention for example. Then we can have more data to look at potential patterns and remedies to the problems which lead towards accidents.
By SpaceMonkey (registered) | Posted January 24, 2011 at 21:42:03
I agree completely Joey, about needing to consider the higher traffic in the central core. In the past I've said the same thing, and most of the people here dismissed the idea.
My overall point is that one way vs two way should not be blamed for causing accidents. It is continually cited on RTH that one way streets are more dangerous to pedestrians. Ryan loves to quote a particular study.
I think you've done a great job in compiling the data. I'm thankful for the work you've done.
The data makes it obvious that one way streets are no more dangerous than two way and that pedestrian and vehicular traffic on certain roads will make it more likely for accidents to occur in some places rather than others. Hopefully this will put an end to the ridiculous statements of 'fact' that one type of road (1 way vs 2 way) is definitively safer than the other.
What is interesting, however, is that there are more rural accidents than urban ones which sort of throws a wrench into our mutual thought that pedestrian/vehicular traffic is a factor to be considered.
Comment edited by SpaceMonkey on 2011-01-24 22:06:46
By SpaceMonkey (registered) | Posted January 24, 2011 at 21:52:25
This data also shows that although vehicular speed is linked to how likely it is for a collision to be fatal, in the real world of our city, not one of the collisions occured on the "fast" parts of our urban areas. In fact, most of the urban collisions seem to be at slow speeds.
I'm not saying that going 60 in the city is a good idea. I'm saying that perhaps a lot of the energy on RTH regarding traffic is being misplaced.
Comment edited by SpaceMonkey on 2011-01-24 21:53:17
By JoeyColeman (registered) - website | Posted January 24, 2011 at 22:22:45
Vehicle weight is a big factor - the momentum of a city bus or truck is a huge factor in the two incidents on James. It's a very complex issue.
I really wish I had data for accidents resulting in injury - it would enable us to have a better informed discussion.
Comment edited by JoeyColeman on 2011-01-24 22:37:49
By SpaceMonkey (registered) | Posted January 24, 2011 at 22:37:08
Ryan, you're blowing and sucking at the same time. I gave up on discussing the issue with you ages ago.
By SpaceMonkey (registered) | Posted January 24, 2011 at 22:37:47
I would love to see more data too Joey. It is way more complex than some people on RTH like to pretend it is.
By JoeyColeman (registered) - website | Posted January 24, 2011 at 22:38:53
@SpaceMonkey - let's not get into the name-calling. I want to engage in a discussion, not an argument of personalities.
By SpaceMonkey (registered) | Posted January 24, 2011 at 22:49:41
Joey, I hope you haven't taken me the wrong way. I genuinely think what you've provided is great. I'm looking forward to discussing this (and other things) civilly with you.
Comment edited by SpaceMonkey on 2011-01-24 22:50:02
By Undustrial (registered) - website | Posted January 25, 2011 at 12:31:33
The fact that many of these collisions occurred on one way streets really doesn't prove anything. There's just too many factors to draw conclusions from 11 incidents. What about speed? Volume? Pedestrian activity? Age? One really can't draw meaningful correlations when one has as many variables as data points.
The moral of the story, IMHO, is that there are always going to be baseline risks with motorized vehicles, no matter how hard we try to make them safe.
"Today, the notion of progress in a single line without goal or limit seems perhaps the most parochial notion of a very parochial century."
— Lewis Mumford
By Pxtl (registered) - website | Posted January 25, 2011 at 15:37:23
@Undustrial - to clarify, only one of these eleven incidents occurred on a one-way street. I do believe there was a fatality on Main in '09 (a man on a mobility scooter trying to cross an intersection with no lights) and there was a bad accident on King this year (a woman on an e-bike tried to cross King mid-street where there were no traffic lights nearby), there were no fatalities on Hamilton's downtown highways this year.
Although it has been mentioned elsewhere, there aren't a lot of pedestrians on those either.
The only common thread I can find in the fatalities is the blamelessness(?) of the pedestrians (the cyclists are more ambiguous, like poor Blane Morden biking on the sidewalk) - these are people crossing at crosswalks, or even just on the sidewalk. One man tripped and fell off the street, but everybody else was exactly where they were supposed to be, and died anyways. You'd expect toe hear more "oh, they were jay-walking" or "they were running against a red light" or "the poor little kid darted out into traffic" but no. Just people mowed down senselessly.
Hug your kids/spouse/whatever, folks.
Comment edited by Pxtl on 2011-01-25 15:38:07
By Undustrial (registered) - website | Posted January 26, 2011 at 02:32:55
Good point PXTL, meant to say "two way streets" there. Might make the point a little better. My bad.
No one change is going to fix this problem. Cars are inherently dangerous. There are many ways we can reduce these dangers, but never eliminate them. As long as we have cars, we're going to have deaths.
By highwater (registered) | Posted January 26, 2011 at 10:00:28
By Mr. Meister (anonymous) | Posted January 27, 2011 at 01:33:28
What I find telling is that the four streets in town which are so often criticized for being one way and too fast, Main, King, Wilson, and Cannon are all absent from the list. Maybe just maybe our one way streets are not so dangerous as some would have us believe. Almost half of the incidents (5) resulted in careless charges and one other had DWI charges. Not one of these accidents seems to be purely speed related. I believe that every driver knows that even the least bit of carelessness while driving can have the most dire of consequences and sadly there is no way to stop it.
The fact that our elderly are over represented should come as no surprise to anyone. As we get older we are more frail so any accident is more serious. Many of our elders are prone to making poor decisions for a variety of reasons. I would like to see more data on the ages of the drivers as well, just from personal experiences it seems that the elderly are over represented as drivers as well as pedestrians. I doubt that there is a real solution to reduce their involvement.
By MattM (registered) | Posted January 27, 2011 at 10:12:46
I don't know about pedestrian fatalities, but high speed, multiple lane, one-way streets are incredibly detrimental to the urban lifestyle. See any patios along Main Street?
I recall at least a few times at art crawls, standing on the corner of James and Cannon I had to yell at the person next to me to carry on a conversation. You shouldn't have to do that downtown.
By jonathan (registered) | Posted January 27, 2011 at 17:16:30
I recently read through the report that Ryan mentions above, and was surprised by the data it showed. The information is quite detailed, and at first glance, seems to take into account many, many factors. However, there was one glaring factor that was NOT included in the study which caused me to cast it aside. And that is this:
The study compares accidents on a per-capita basis, according to the accident location. At first glance, that sounds great. However, and as pointed out in another post above, the correlation should NOT be to population, but to vehicle/pedestrian traffic. I don't recall the exact numbers, but I believe the study was something like 85 km of one-way vs 900 km of two-way. Unfortunately, the traffic density downtown isn't directly related to the population density. As has been pointed out, ad-nauseum, on this site, our one-way streets are used by a huge amount of non-local traffic. In addition, there is a significant amount of non-local pedestrian traffic in the downtown core (where the majority of our one-way streets are located).
As such, the study leaves much to be desired. Peer-review only ensures accuracy, and the data, indeed, is accurate. Relevant? I disagree.
Comment edited by jonathan on 2011-01-27 17:16:57
By jonathan (registered) | Posted January 27, 2011 at 17:21:05
One other thing to add.
Much has been said on this site regarding our lack of pedestrian crosswalks. And I agree--we could certainly use more.
However, human nature is human nature. Put a cross-walk in, and I guarantee, someone will jaywalk 50' down the street from it. As I witnessed today. Twice. I do believe the lady killed yesterday morning in Toronto was jaywalking less than 100' from a signalized crosswalk. So suggesting that crosswalks will help, while true, is a bit misleading.
edit Correction...it was a 79-yr-old gentleman, and he's in critical condition at the hospital. I can't find any specific reference to the crosswalk, however that is what was being reported on 680 News this morning.
And I still contend that jaywalking, which we as a society seem to be obsessed with, is significantly safer on a one-way street than on a two-way.
(Oh...and one thing that hasn't been mentioned regarding the study referenced above...in 80+% of the accidents, no charges were laid against the driver...cough...)
Comment edited by jonathan on 2011-01-27 17:26:50
By SpaceMonkey (registered) | Posted January 27, 2011 at 21:00:47
It's great to have someone expressing the same concerns I have regarding that study. I've expressed the same thing in other posts in the past. It shouldn't be long now before Ryan comes along to defend his favourite study with misleading logic.
By SpaceMonkey (registered) | Posted January 27, 2011 at 21:02:11
I don't see anyone arguing that high speed roads are a good thing for a city. What a few of us are saying is that perhaps people should reconsider their stubborn view point that one way streets are, without a doubt, much more dangerous that two way streets. It's ridiculous and the data in this post backs up just how ridiculous it is.
By adam (anonymous) | Posted January 30, 2011 at 12:04:09
We better take down this non-Spectator news piece .. city council might sue for defamation. (j/k)
By Cityjoe (anonymous) | Posted February 01, 2011 at 10:51:15
Much ado about Ancaster's 'walkability' in the new Plan for development recently.
There are sidewalks on Wilson St. , both East & West, right in town than dead end, leaving the pedestrian stranded, & having to cross a very busy street.
Many of the side streets here have no sidewalks at all. In Winter the plows are often not in evidence until days after a heavy snow fall, & when they do show up, the don't go anywhere near the edges of the road. Pedestrians must navigate a very narrow street, often blocked by parked cars that force them out into traffic.
There are places where walkers are sharing the bike lane as a side walk. (not good for pedestrians or cyclists!) This occurs in the Wilson St. E area of Tiffany Falls Park, & areas to the East, near Kaustra Nurserys & the rinks, all the way to the end of Wilson St. E, when it becomes Main St. I had to call CH t.v. to find out what had happened. It was not reported in any media that I could find. (as usual.)
Would you not think that a popular park, a local rink, a bus round about connection, & a very lovely walking route would have some provisions for pedestrians to walk safely? I see many people walking alone or with their dogs on that route every morning, sharing a bike lane. Problems with vehicles speeding in excess of 100 km/hour (the speed limit there is 70 km/hour)create a daily hazard for pedestrians, bikes, other vehicles, & deer every day.
A pedestrian was hit there 2 weeks ago. She was walking on the road side, technically in the bike lane, which had not been cleared of snow, but she had no options. No sidewalk, & no level areas to walk except the bike lane/road side.
The traffic circles have made thing worse both for walkers, & traffic attempting to get onto Wilson St. Thank goodness for the traffic lights at main intersections, or there would be no respite at all. The traffic circles tend to obscure pedestrians because of the nature of the circle, & the trees planted in the centers will soon be big enough to obscure the sight lines for both pedestrians & vehicles entering the traffic circles.
I`d give Ancaster a Huge FAIL on pedestrian friendly, & the farther you walk from Town Center into areas that would seem to promote walking, the worse it gets!!
By Cityjoe (anonymous) | Posted February 01, 2011 at 10:54:12
Please Note: Comment about calling CH t.v. should be in the paragraph relating to the pedestrian struck near the church & Kaustra Nurseries.
By Fred Street (anonymous) | Posted July 12, 2011 at 14:19:48
Courtesy Hamilton EMS:
HAMILTON, ON, July 12, 2011— At 1316 today Hamilton paramedics responded near the intersection of Vanwagner and Beach Blvd. for a child that was struck by a bus. The child was treated on scene by paramedics and transported to McMaster Children’s Hospital with serious head injuries. The driver of the bus was treated on the scene by paramedics. Police remain on the scene investigating the incident.
Hamilton EMS does not know the condition of the patient once they arrive at the hospital.
By FredStreet (anonymous) | Posted May 07, 2012 at 09:45:19
Belatedly, how did 2011 stack up compared to 2010?
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