Personal Injury Lawyer | Improving Pedestrian Safety

Personal Injury Lawyer | When it comes to improving pedestrian safety through small measures, Daylighting is only the start. Another improvement for crowded intersections are curb extensions—aka “Neckdowns”—that are built from the sidewalk partially into the street. This, too, improves visibility between pedestrians and drivers, and shortens the amount of road to cross. A third measure, particularly effective for wide two-way streets, are medians that give pedestrians a halfway stopping point, so that they don’t need to dart across multiple lanes at once. Along with improving safety, these medians can be tasteful public spaces, like the ones along Broadway in Manhattan’s Upper West Side.

There are dozens of measures like these that encompass every aspect of street design. While they are seldom used, they have gained momentum within the planning profession, having become associated with the “Complete Streets” movement. In 2005, several public and private interests formed the National Complete Streets Coalition, which has advocated for many other improvements. For example, bike lanes could be safer if, rather than running alongside car lanes, they were protected from them by a wall of on-street parking that was moved slightly from off the curb. In another scenario, one-way streets could be converted into two-way, which forces cars to drive slower, but improves their mobility by enabling turnarounds. And trees could be planted on the edges of well-used sidewalks to delineate between pedestrians and passing vehicles.

Although such measures are often viewed as anti-car, they are really just a cost-effective way to improve safety, and don’t reduce road capacity, nor do they really slow anyone down. A studyby the Transportation Research Board found that improvements to sidewalks, intersections and medians on a New Jersey roadway decreased risky scenarios for pedestrians by 28%, and average car speeds by only 2 mph. As a result, the measures have gained traction in cities that value pedestrian safety, like San Francisco, New York City, and Portland. They would be worth trying in ones that have high rates of traffic fatalities—such as Florida’s major cities—and should be advocated for on behalf of pragmatism and public health, not anti-car ideology.

Since 1989, the personal injury lawyers of Clekis Law Firm have been representing injured people and their families in Charleston and throughout the Low Country. At the Clekis Law Firm our clients always come first. If you or a loved one has suffered a serious personal injury due to the negligence of another, don’t be victimized twice. You need someone on your side to help you with your personal injury case and obtain the fair and reasonable compensation that you deserve. Call Clekis at 843.779.1160!

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