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Thread: Pedestrian safety, East Atlanta, and the East Atlanta Community Association

  1. #1

    Pedestrian safety, East Atlanta, and the East Atlanta Community Association

    I've written a brief article about pedestrian safety approach, as I'm thinking of taking on the issue in East Atlanta's neighborhood group. I'd be interested in any feedback:

    http://larryfeltonjohnson.typepad.co...rian_safe.html

    Larry

    Moderator note:
    (Dan) Replaced the EACA acronym in the thread title with the organization name.

  2. #2
    Cyburbian Michele Zone's avatar
    Registered
    Jul 2003
    Location
    San Diego, CA
    Posts
    7,061
    Sorry I didn't get to this earlier. It has been one of those weeks where "when it rains, it pours".

    I agree with the basic premise: laws that are unenforced create a culture as if the law didn't really exist. I would recommend the book "The Tipping Point". If you haven't already read it, it is about the small things that make the big difference -- how to leverage resources and target the weak areas to make the biggest impact. The analysis is overall good and it specifically profiles some crime cases where things were completely turned around -- like with subways in New York, where one cornerstone of the program was an absolute policy of not tolerating any graffiti. It took time to make that one stick but the more civilized atmosphere created by clean cars is part of the reason they were able to drastically reduce crime. Another was focusing on toll jumpers -- something previously overlooked as not worth the investment for the price of the toll but deeper analysis showed otherwise.

    From there, you need to think of what to do about the education and enforcement. Unless you are really prepared to put a lot of energy into convincing the police to enforce this better, you may not be able to do anything about enforcement, directly. Education may be your best approach. Since you already have a blog, that might be something you can leverage. Like, um, maybe photos of violators, links to articles about traffic related pedestrian deaths, etc. and if you do flyers or something, the link to your blog could be on them.

    Some random thoughts: Military bases often take a crunched car and put it at the entrance with a sign showing drunk driving related accidents. And the National Training Center in Southern California has a white crosses along the road (mandated by some general), one for every traffic fatality. The road is long and winding and full of potholes and it is a 40 mile commute, mostly one lane in each direction. I have heard it is one of the deadliest roads in the U.S. The white crosses are intended to give you pause when you are tempted to do 80 through there (it is a 55 mph road).

    PS: You do know, of course, that for as little as $15* a year, you can own a domain name with say, Name Boy, and a redirect page to send it to wherever the content is actually being hosted. So you could put "www.AtlantaPedestrianNews.com" (for example) in the flyer and that would send people to http://larryfeltonjohnson.typepad.com/ (for example).

    *(or less even, especially if you pay for several years -- I spent $39 to own a domain name for 3 years)

  3. #3
    Quote Originally posted by Michele Zone

    I agree with the basic premise: laws that are unenforced create a culture as if the law didn't really exist. I would recommend the book "The Tipping Point". If you haven't already read it, it is about the small things that make the big difference -- how to leverage resources and target the weak areas to make the biggest impact. The analysis is overall good and it specifically profiles some crime cases where things were completely turned around -- like with subways in New York, where one cornerstone of the program was an absolute policy of not tolerating any graffiti.

    Thanks for the suggestions Michelle. I'll check out "Tipping Point". At this point EACA is planning to start putting together committees based on the "2005 Objectives" report. I'll post a followup here as to how pedestrian safety fares.

    I'm fairly convinced that we could get at least some sort of spot enforcement in the neighborhood commercial district if EACA prioritizes it with the police Zone (in this case Zone 6). My own preference would be enforcement at the midblock crossings, since that's the area of greatest driver ignorance of the law.

  4. #4

    I have a similar project I'm working on

    One of my Citizen Planner projects is finding a way to make a certain intersection pedestrian safe. After reading your comments I wanted to share what I'm going to try and persuade the city to consider.

    My considerations: what are the cheapest ways to achieve the goal? I tend to think this way because I'm only one person and don't expect traffic engineers to listen to my suggestions. Also the funding for intersections in the city are pretty slim. Having said that it also makes my goal of getting drivers to slow down and/or be conscious of the pedestrian crossing and pedestrian traffic in general, much easier.

    History of traffic accidents at intersection were easily found throught the local PD.

    Motorized vehicle counts at the intersections, if possible finding out how many left turns are made at the intersection. It is after all, the most controversial of turns!

    Pedestrian traffic counts are not available unless I go out and do it myself and I'm going to -just for fun and practice if anything (I know, I'm a dork ). The simplest way is to go out to the intersection and count for many days, it's real helpful to be around for the peak hours. There are all kinds of math schemes you can work out to convince or impress engineers, whatever. I'm going to put my Calculus to work and try some-eventually (Again, I'm a dork .)

    I also would like to get a population estimate in the immediate area. Three of the four corners of the the intersection are large apartment complexes, mainly populated by Hispanics many of which are immigrants. You may ask: Why does ethnicity or immigrant matter? This is important because in Southern California Hispanic immigrants tend to walk much more than somebody that is native and established. In addition there tend to be more children in these communities.

    What are the main walking routes and why? At the intersection people have to walk over a bridge to get to grocery stores and work. In the other direction there is a school.

    There are transit stops very close to the intersection.

    There are many bicyclist that pass through the intersection (Another traffic study, anyone??).

    What are the upcoming development projects in the area? This is important , maybe the bridge at my intersection is going to be widened, or something like that. Just another reason why it's important to keep things on the cheap, besides the fact that everything is for the car, oh well it's a start .

    It's just a quick summary of what I was thinking about to present to local decision makers. I'm still working on a cohesive presentation. Ultimately I will press for a simple solution that requires the use of existing materials (paint and brushes) and a little bit of spending (the education part) for "Pedestrian Crossing Devices designed to further alert motorists of the obligation to yield to or stop for pedestrians."

    A link to one of the sites I got a lot of help from.
    http://www.bikewalk.org/walking/desi...igns/index.htm
    Here is a pic of the idea/goal I'm aiming for. Pic is from the link posted above
    [IMG][/IMG]
    Last edited by The Irish One; 21 Feb 2005 at 2:43 AM.

  5. #5
    Quote Originally posted by The Irish One
    One of my Citizen Planner projects is finding a way to make a certain intersection pedestrian safe. After reading your comments I wanted to share what I'm going to try and persuade the city to consider.

    My considerations: what are the cheapest ways to achieve the goal? I tend to think this way because I'm only one person and don't expect traffic engineers to listen to my suggestions. Also the funding for intersections in the city are pretty slim. Having said that it also makes my goal of getting drivers to slow down and/or be conscious of the pedestrian crossing and pedestrian traffic in general, much easier.

    History of traffic accidents at intersection were easily found throught the local PD.

    Motorized vehicle counts at the intersections, if possible finding out how many left turns are made at the intersection. It is after all, the most controversial of turns!

    Pedestrian traffic counts are not available unless I go out and do it myself and I'm going to -just for fun and practice if anything (I know, I'm a dork ). The simplest way is to go out to the intersection and count for many days, it's real helpful to be around for the peak hours. There are all kinds of math schemes you can work out to convince or impress engineers, whatever. I'm going to put my Calculus to work and try some-eventually (Again, I'm a dork .)

    I also would like to get a population estimate in the immediate area. Three of the four corners of the the intersection are large apartment complexes, mainly populated by Hispanics many of which are immigrants. You may ask: Why does ethnicity or immigrant matter? This is important because in Southern California Hispanic immigrants tend to walk much more than somebody that is native and established. In addition there tend to be more children in these communities.

    What are the main walking routes and why? At the intersection people have to walk over a bridge to get to grocery stores and work. In the other direction there is a school.

    There are transit stops very close to the intersection.

    There are many bicyclist that pass through the intersection (Another traffic study, anyone??).

    What are the upcoming development projects in the area? This is important , maybe the bridge at my intersection is going to be widened, or something like that. Just another reason why it's important to keep things on the cheap, besides the fact that everything is for the car, oh well it's a start .

    It's just a quick summary of what I was thinking about to present to local decision makers. I'm still working on a cohesive presentation. Ultimately I will press for a simple solution that requires the use of existing materials (paint and brushes) and a little bit of spending (the education part) for "Pedestrian Crossing Devices designed to further alert motorists of the obligation to yield to or stop for pedestrians."

    A link to one of the sites I got a lot of help from.
    http://www.bikewalk.org/walking/desi...igns/index.htm
    Here is a pic of the idea/goal I'm aiming for. Pic is from the link posted above
    [IMG][/IMG]
    I somehow missed your post here. I'd certainly be interested in hearing followups on your progress. EACA has merged the Transportation Committee and the Pedestrian Safety Committee, so I'm chair of the combined entity. So the scope has expanded, but as far as I'm concerned the goal is still the walkability of the neighborhood.

    Larry

  6. #6
    Cyburbian
    Registered
    Apr 2007
    Location
    Canada
    Posts
    229
    You can make pedestrian safety better by.

    1 Having it in the open .

    2 lots of foot traffic than 3 or 4 on the street where crime is higher )

    3 Cut down on the trees and walls where someone may be getting raped and the tree or wall is blocking the person.

    4 Keep highway away of pedestrian walking.

    5 Make use of buses and subways.

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