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Thread: Dangerous Walking

  1. #1
    Cyburbian Emeritus Bear Up North's avatar
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    Dangerous Walking

    This topic has a relationship to Transportation Planning but I was not certain if it should be a FAC discussion or it should be in the TransPlan forum. I chose FAC.

    The group Transportation for America has released a report that focuses on the dangers of walking in specific metropolitan areas. Check out the linky and click on the "Dangerous By Design" portion.

    BTW.....Metro Toledo is not a safe place to be a pedestrian, but it is a whole lot safer than many metros in the south. Quite sure the weather has influenced the rankings.

    Interesting reading.

    Bear

    http://t4america.org/
    Occupy Cyburbia!

  2. #2
    Cyburbian dvdneal's avatar
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    Phoenix is on the list, but it doesn't matter, no one walks here anyway.
    I don't pretend to understand Brannigan's Law. I merely enforce it.

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    Cyburbian The One's avatar
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    Yup.....

    EVERY one of those top ten places are in the south, so I don't think there is much of a density argument that can be made in this case. The top four are in Florida

    I can tell you that Broward County, Florida was a challenge to drive in I never got used to people riding their bikes and walking the wrong direction between lanes against traffic in rush hour on major arterial roads and at night while crossing railroad tracks
    "The modern conservative is engaged in one of man's oldest exercises in moral philosophy; that is, the search for a superior moral justification for selfishness."
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  4. #4
    Cyburbian Plus JNA's avatar
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    Thanks for the link, forward it to our local MPO.
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  5. #5
    Cyburbian Plus Shellac And Vinyl VelocitY's avatar
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    Bear, thanks for the heads up.
    Dangerous by Design pdf:
    http://t4america.org/docs/dangerousb..._by_design.pdf

  6. #6
    Cyburbian jmello's avatar
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    Quote Originally posted by The One View post
    EVERY one of those top ten places are in the south, so I don't think there is much of a density argument that can be made in this case. The top four are in Florida
    It has much more to do with the explosive growth that occurred in the South between 1950 and 2000 when bicycle and pedestrian accommodations were simply ignored when roads were constructed or expanded.

  7. #7
    Cyburbian Plus Shellac And Vinyl VelocitY's avatar
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    Upon more studying of Dangerous By Design, I've decided that it's so seriously flawed that it should not, for the most part, be taken seriously.

    Examples of how some states and regions are clumped:

    32 Washington-Arlington-Alexandria, DC-VA-MD-WV
    38 Philadelphia-Camden-Wilmington, PA-NJ-DE-MD
    41 Chicago-Naperville-Joliet, IL-IN-WI
    50 New York-Northern New Jersey-Long Island, NY-NJ-PA
    51 Boston-Cambridge-Quincy, MA-NH



  8. #8
    I was once called upon to talk about transportation and health to a gathering of highway engineers at the federal DOT. I felt like I was entering the lions den. So I started the whole presentation with a joke: Congratulations! you have done your job so well that no one in America walks!

  9. #9
    Cyburbian Dave F's avatar
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    Quote Originally posted by Seana View post
    Upon more studying of Dangerous By Design, I've decided that it's so seriously flawed that it should not, for the most part, be taken seriously.

    Examples of how some states and regions are clumped:

    32 Washington-Arlington-Alexandria, DC-VA-MD-WV
    38 Philadelphia-Camden-Wilmington, PA-NJ-DE-MD
    41 Chicago-Naperville-Joliet, IL-IN-WI
    50 New York-Northern New Jersey-Long Island, NY-NJ-PA
    51 Boston-Cambridge-Quincy, MA-NH


    What's the problem? Those look to be US Census Bureau-defined metropolitan areas. The ones you called attention to are larger, mostly eastern, metropolitan areas that cross state lines. While there will be variations between the center cities and their suburbs in each region, and that could raise a few questions, I don't think the choice of using metropolitan areas as a basis of analysis is that questionable overall.

  10. #10
    Cyburbian Dave F's avatar
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    One thing I do find very interesting is when you chose to sort the results by state the place with the lowest danger rating within each state is almost always a college town. While these places often have a built in advantage due to the student population frequently living on or near campus, they nonetheless do have lots of people walking to work/school (or the bars) without incurring excessive fatalities.

    It would be interesting to see what some of the other factors are that make this possible. Pedestrian-oriented CBDs? Heightened awareness of non-motorized transport? Shorter commute times for those who do drive? What else could explain this?

  11. #11
    Quote Originally posted by Dave F View post

    It would be interesting to see what some of the other factors are that make this possible. Pedestrian-oriented CBDs? Heightened awareness of non-motorized transport? Shorter commute times for those who do drive? What else could explain this?
    Safety in numbers is always a prime factor. If you have lots of people walking and biking, its much much safer.

  12. #12
    Super Moderator kjel's avatar
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    Quote Originally posted by Dave F View post
    What's the problem? Those look to be US Census Bureau-defined metropolitan areas. The ones you called attention to are larger, mostly eastern, metropolitan areas that cross state lines. While there will be variations between the center cities and their suburbs in each region, and that could raise a few questions, I don't think the choice of using metropolitan areas as a basis of analysis is that questionable overall.
    That was my feeling while reading the article. I live in NJ which has everything from unincorporated areas, small towns, suburbs, urban areas both large and small. There are some places that are very pedestrian friends while there are others that are very dangerous. In the last couple of weeks since the report there have been some articles about pedestrian issues. 121 pedestrians have been killed so far this year in NJ. http://www.northjersey.com/news/Pede...ths_spike.html
    "He defended the cause of the poor and needy, and so all went well. Is that not what it means to know me?" Jeremiah 22:16

  13. #13
    Cyburbian jmello's avatar
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    Quote Originally posted by Dave F View post
    One thing I do find very interesting is when you chose to sort the results by state the place with the lowest danger rating within each state is almost always a college town. While these places often have a built in advantage due to the student population frequently living on or near campus, they nonetheless do have lots of people walking to work/school (or the bars) without incurring excessive fatalities.
    Were students walking to class counted as pedestrian commuters? Was each trip to and from class counted in the calculation?

    We also had some questions about some of the military cities around us. Did they count the soldiers walking from the barracks to training as pedestrian commuters? If so, did they also count the number of pedestrian crashes on the bases?

  14. #14
    Cyburbian Planit's avatar
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    Fatally Walking

    In a recent article in Time, south Florida carries the leaders role in car vs. pedestrain fatalities.

    http://www.time.com/time/nation/arti...942986,00.html

    and one of the best quotes from the article...

    "The root cause is simple: the thoughtless sprawl of modern urban and suburban development has created too much high-speed space for cars and trucks, and too little of it for walkers, cyclists and the kind of public transit that reduces dependence on cars. "
    and "It's partly due to a mind-set that views pedestrians as nuisances."
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  15. #15
    Moderator note:
    ~Gedunker~
    Similar threads merged. Carry on and look before you cross that street!
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  16. #16
    Cyburbian ofos's avatar
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    Quote Originally posted by Planit View post
    In a recent article in Time, south Florida carries the leaders role in car vs. pedestrain fatalities.
    Yeah, don't encourage people to walk in Tiger Woods neighborhood. Reckless drivers, golf-club wielding women...
    “Death comes when memories of the past exceed the vision for the future.”

  17. #17
    Cyburbian TerraSapient's avatar
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    The sidewalk is a battleground!

    Bear Up North - you live in Toledo? I just moved from there. Lived there for several years!

    On topic, I walk to and from work everyday. It is about 1 mile each way.

    Previously I cycled to work and back each day, that was about a 6 mile journey each way.

    Honolulu is blessed with exceptionally pedestrian and bicycle friendly weather. You do see a lot of pedestrians and a fair number of cyclists. The one thing you have to remember everyday as you try to commute from one place to another by any means other than by car is that you have to treat the sidewalk like a battleground.

    Every time you cross an intersection (especially where cars are allowed to turn right on red) you are putting your life in the hands of some impatient, car-obsessed person who is in a rush and their ability to get from point A to point B 25 seconds faster is infinitely more important to them than your life. Not to mention the conversation about nothing they are no doubt having on their cell phone while driving and dodging in and out of pedestrians.

    You literally have to own the sidewalk or side of the street in order to survive as a pedestrian or cyclist. You have to be assertive, aggressive even with your personal space. Its like playing chicken except the other guy is in a metal and plastic death machine on wheels.

    People in cars never think of these things. They just sit there giving you the stink eye and wishing you would hurry up so they could more quickly get to the next red light.

    I am not a transportation planner. However, I feel that the best way to make cities safe for pedestrians and cyclist is to get rid of cars (insert some humor here). That is obviously never going to happen, even I own a car and use it to transport my dogs to the beach on the weekends and greatly enjoy my ability to do. That said, I have a hard time visualizing a world where cars and pedestrians can ever commute side-by-side in perfect harmony.

    To me, it doesn't feel like it is a matter of providing the proper networks or infrastructure for the two groups to get from point A to point B without killing each other - It seems like it would literally take a cultural revolution for drivers to get off the juice, stop thinking they are the center of the universe, and treat pedestrians with courtesy and provide them ample personal space to safely get across an intersection.

    At least, that is how it feels when you cross a few dozen intersections in rush hour traffic everyday.

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