November 22, 2002

Demise of the Pedestrian

Category: Urban Planning

Orlando: "Orlando Streets Worst For Pedestrian Safety" according to a USA Today report. Well, big surprise. Orlando, and most American cities are really not urban at all anymore, at least in the traditional sense. They are disparate suburban networks of highways, parking lots, and strip mall zones, especially "new" cities in the sunbelt. Since pedestrianism accounts for such a tiny percentage of trips in areas like this, it's understandably forgotten.

Despite the innumerable negative effects of car-exclusive suburban sprawl and my general tendancy to embrace any article on the subject, I can't see much point in this report. It's like saying "Interstate 5 is the least friendly interstate for sunbathing". Still, I suppose it helps to give some exposure to the issue. If municipalities are decried for their deadly streets, it provides some incentive to change the way suburbia develops.

Just to keep the statistics in check: San Francisco's deadliest intersections are all on Market St. in the Tenderloin. Why are they deadly? Not because of agressive or unchecked driving, but because wasted drug addicts are constantly staggering into the street there. Furthermore, to quote the USA today article: "4,882 pedestrians were killed in 2001, and a third of those were legally drunk". Hmmm...

[another article here]

Posted by Nick at November 22, 2002 7:27 PM

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