Here’s a link to an article that ran in the Toronto alt-weekly Now a couple of weeks ago. In the first month and a bit of 2010 in Toronto 14 pedestrians were run over and killed by automobiles. That’s insane.
Even in Regina, I find, it requires a fair bit of vigor and traffic sense to survive as a pedestrian. That’s summer and winter. Any season, really. Although winter is definitely the worst with all the ice and snowbanks. In Toronto, with the sheer volume of traffic, and the number of large roadways to accommodate commuter traffic, it’s obviously a much more deadly challenge.
And yes all you die-hard motorists out there, I’m well aware that in some instances the pedestrian who died was likely at fault for jaywalking or entering a crosswalk when the walk light wasn’t on or whatever. But come on, 14 people killed in maybe 35 days?
Cities, geographically, are too big. People are too strapped for time and are always in a rush (although they also need to stop cramming too much stuff into their days). When they’re behind the wheel, drivers are way too distracted by a whole pile of things from food and drink to cell-phones and entertainment systems. We have a car culture. Our cities are designed to facilitate the movement of cars, not pedestrians (or cyclists). Anyone, really, who tries to get around other than in a private motor vehicle.
In the article, the authors advocate reducing the standard municipal speed limit below 50 k.p.h. to slow traffic and enable pedestrians to both navigate the streets better, plus enjoy a higher survival rate if they do happen to get hit.
Works for me. As a start, anyway.