Comment 78154

By John Neary (registered) | Posted June 07, 2012 at 22:52:47 in reply to Comment 78145

Hi SpaceMonkey,

Well, you can quote my posts here in the future if you like.

What I'm primarily concerned about is the individual pedestrian's chance of being in a collision. When a particular type of street design tends to promote greater pedestrian traffic, that might explain a higher pedestrian collision rate. The street might not be more dangerous to each pedestrian, but with more pedestrians there are more opportunities for collisions.

Conversely, if a street design tends to deter pedestrians, then a low pedestrian collision rate might underestimate the danger to an individual pedestrian.

So I don't think that any of these numbers can be taken as having much precision. However, when a study shows higher pedestrian collision rates on one-way streets, it probably underestimates the actual relative risk for the individual pedestrian (if, as I would imagine, pedestrians tend not to want to walk on one-way streets). Conversely, when a study shows lower pedestrian collision rates on one-way streets, it might simply be confounded by the fact that one-way streets have fewer pedestrians.

You might answer that in Hamilton one-way streets tend to have other design elements (multiple lanes, etc.) that increase pedestrian hazard -- so that the perceived risk in the Wazana study might be confounded by other aspects of street design -- and I'd agree. But I'd then argue that those other aspects of street design also need to be changed. And I agree with Ryan that a lot of the benefits of one-way streets for long-distance traffic flow are lost as soon as those other design elements are removed.

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