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Old 12-02-04, 02:55 PM   #1
genec
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Streets in South and West noted as especially dangerous

http://story.news.yahoo.com/news?tmp...estrian_deaths

Salt Lake City Safer Than Tampa, Fla.

Thu Dec 2, 6:34 AM ET

U.S. National - AP

By LESLIE MILLER, Associated Press Writer

WASHINGTON - Cities in the South and West are the most dangerous for pedestrians, with four in Florida earning the dubious distinction of being the deadliest of all.

A private study released Thursday concluded that sprawling, newer cities in the South and West tend to be built with wide, high-speed roads that are especially dangerous for walking.

"So much of our transportation system is designed for cars and only cars," said Anne Canby, president of the Surface Transportation Policy Project, which issued the report. The group advocates balanced transportation.

The report found that the 9,746 walkers who died in 2002-2003 were more likely to be killed on busy streets without crosswalks. Nearly 40 percent died where crosswalks weren't available.

"Wide roads, speeding traffic and a lack of crosswalks or sidewalks can make walking a deadly activity," the report said. "There simply are not enough pedestrian facilities."

***************************

Granted this report is focusing on pedestrians trying cross the streets, but of course the same streets that are "designed for cars" may not be built for bikes, especially with the wide fast streets they seem to be discussing here... the "urban highways" that really do not lend themselves to cyclists needing to "take a lane."
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Old 12-02-04, 03:17 PM   #2
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I think these wide fast streets are probably safer for cyclists, because they usually have wider lanes and fewer intersections. Difference in speed isnt a problem if the bike and car arent trying to use the same space at the same time.
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Old 12-02-04, 04:42 PM   #3
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Originally Posted by genec
http://story.news.yahoo.com/news?tmp...estrian_deaths


The report found that the 9,746 walkers who died in 2002-2003 were more likely to be killed on busy streets without crosswalks. Nearly 40 percent died where crosswalks weren't available.

"Wide roads, speeding traffic and a lack of crosswalks or sidewalks can make walking a deadly activity," the report said. "There simply are not enough pedestrian facilities."

"
When reading an article like this one which is reaching to make a point, one almost gets the impression that in no case were the pedestrians (or in our case, cyclists) at fault or did anything to contribute to their demise.
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Old 12-02-04, 04:50 PM   #4
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The Florida cities have topped this list for at least twenty years.

Geriatric peds, geriatric motorists. A lethal combination.
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Old 12-02-04, 05:12 PM   #5
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I think that generally, streets that are safer for pedestrians tend to be safer for cyclists. If only because cars must slow more frequently for pedestrians in the crosswalk. I know that Atlanta roads, whether you are talking about the suburbs or downtown, were definitely not built with either pedestrians or cyclists in mind. I was shocked at how much more pedestrian friendly Chicago was when I visited there in '99 and 02; and I've heard some residents of that city complaining it is not pedestrian or bike friendly. The lack of sidewalks and crosswalks in Atlanta is slowly being remedied in more affluent areas, as a whole I don't think we will ever be pedestrian or bike friendly in my lifetime.

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Old 12-02-04, 09:42 PM   #6
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The negative comments about pedestrian and bicycle safety in Florida match my perceptions and personal biases.

San Diego County tends to be bicycle- and pedestrian-friendly, but there are some glaringly dangerous intersections and a few dangerous streets, as well.
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Old 12-02-04, 10:24 PM   #7
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No offense, but didn't we already know this.

Quote:
"So much of our transportation system is designed for cars and only cars,"
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Old 12-02-04, 10:57 PM   #8
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I found the San Jose area to be pretty well equipped for cycling at least...for pedestrians it's ok as well. However, there are some drivers that still need to improve their passing and cognitive skills...
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Old 12-03-04, 11:33 AM   #9
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No offense, but didn't we already know this.
Yes, we did, but when did city planners decide to leave out pedestrians? Here in "America's Finest City" (according to the Chamber of Commerce) I am often shocked at the road planning in new additions to the city... no planning for alternative transportation. Period.

One would think that in the "new cities" mentioned in the article that some resource would be made available for bikes and people. Otherwise the darn places are just huge strip malls. (and frankly some cities are just that)

Regarding the wide multilane roads being potentially good for cyclists... Uh, not hardly... it tends to be rather difficult for one to "take a lane" when the traffic is zipping along at 50MPH. Sorry, but the cars just do not accomodate. I would rather be in dense downtown 25MPH traffic.
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Old 12-03-04, 11:49 AM   #10
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ain't florida in the east?
The articla says "South and West." I don't think they meant Southwest.
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Old 12-03-04, 01:26 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by genec
... Regarding the wide multilane roads being potentially good for cyclists... Uh, not hardly... it tends to be rather difficult for one to "take a lane" when the traffic is zipping along at 50MPH. Sorry, but the cars just do not accomodate. I would rather be in dense downtown 25MPH traffic.
I concur. When I lived in Los Angeles, with its well-connected grid of streets, I sought out routes on calm, slow side streets. Unfortunately, in San Diego County one must often use one or more major arterials to get from point A to point B, because the local streets are not widely connected.
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Old 12-03-04, 03:16 PM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by John E
I concur. When I lived in Los Angeles, with its well-connected grid of streets, I sought out routes on calm, slow side streets. Unfortunately, in San Diego County one must often use one or more major arterials to get from point A to point B, because the local streets are not widely connected.
Same in Sacramento. Downtown and Midtown are laid out on a grid and make for relatively easy cycling. But once you get out to eastern Sacramento County and Placer County, it's suburban hell. If not for the American River Bike Trail, it would be impossible to get anywhere without having to ride one of the boulevards.
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Old 12-03-04, 03:40 PM   #13
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Originally Posted by AndrewP
I think these wide fast streets are probably safer for cyclists, because they usually have wider lanes and fewer intersections. Difference in speed isnt a problem if the bike and car arent trying to use the same space at the same time.
In Houston, newer neighborhoods consist of "gated" or limited access subdivisions, connected by roads where the flow of traffic is moving between 40 mph and 50 mph. The lanes are narrower than a big truck or a bus, so larger vehicles travel with the right wheels next to the curb and their left wheels on the lane divider line.

In theory, there might be a way to ride a bicycle on such roads, and live to tell about it. However, I have yet to see anyone attempt this feat.

These same neighborhoods generally lack sidewalks. School buses, belching smoke, come to each corner or house to pick up the often chubby, usually out-of-shape kids such neighborhoods tend to produce.
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Old 12-03-04, 04:00 PM   #14
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Originally Posted by caloso
...eastern Sacramento County and Placer County, it's suburban hell. If not for the American River Bike Trail, it would be impossible to get anywhere without having to ride one of the boulevards.
Amen brother. An off-duty police officer cyclist was killed on Greenback a mile from my house a year or so ago.

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Old 12-03-04, 04:15 PM   #15
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Coincidentally, Placer County is the fastest growing county in California and one of the fastest growing in the country.

It's like Orange County North, except without any county-wide planning. And that's a slam on Placer, not the O.C.
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Old 12-03-04, 04:22 PM   #16
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Placer is also the #1 GOP county in California, with more registered Republicans than Orange County. OC north furshir.
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