Saturday, August 10, 2013

Everyone's a pedestrian, and many are drunk and/or distracted


The assumption underlying the city's anti-car movement is that there's an ongoing bloodbath on city streets, as cyclists and pedestrians are mowed down by speeding motorists. The city's annual Collision Report puts the lie to that, since it tells us that city streets have been getting steadily safer over the years, and that half of injury accidents to cyclists are caused by their own recklessness (page 24). Pedestrians are  also responsible for many of their own injury accidents, though, according to police reports, pedestrians are responsible for only 1/3 of their injury accidents (pages 19, 20).


The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration recently launched a campaign to reduce pedestrian accidents. Turns out that, along with the increased distracted walking in the video above, many injured pedestrians are walking while drunk and jaywalking at night.


Sixth Street, Seventh Street, Howard Street, and the South of Market downtown area are where a lot of pedestrians are hit by cars (page 21 in the Collisions Report). This isn't surprising, since that area is essentially an extension of the Tenderloin skid row neighborhood where many in that densely populated area are drunk, stoned, and/or mentally impaired one way or another.

The MTA's solution on Sixth Street:  "In addition to calming traffic, removing two of the street’s travel lanes will open up space for improvements like sidewalk expansions, bike lanes, and greenery." Oh, yes. Some landscaping and some bike lanes will fix Sixth Street up.

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