Dependable Erection

Thursday, March 29, 2007

Bears repeating

The tragic death of Jason Ray, the UNC-Chapel Hill senior who played Tar Heel team mascot Rameses, is the latest reminder of the senseless danger of pedestrian-unfriendly roadways. Reports say that Ray was walking along New Jersey's Route 4, returning to his hotel room from a convenience store at about 4 p.m., when he was hit by an SUV. The driver wasn't drunk, according to police. It was just an accident on a road designed for cars, not for people. Sad to say, such an accident might have happened on Raleigh's Capital Boulevard, where eight people have been killed along a 10-mile stretch since 2002. Or it might have happened on U.S. 15-501 between Durham and Chapel Hill—in fact, a similar incident did happen there in 1999, when two lacrosse players from George Mason University, in town for a match with UNC-Chapel Hill, were struck by a car while trying to get from a shopping center to their hotel room. And last year, UNC Emeritus Psychology Professor David Galinsky was killed trying to cross Fordham Boulevard on his way to a Tar Heels game and Arthur McClean was killed the same day, trying to cross U.S. 15-501 near Southern Village.

Makeshift memorials are scattered across the Triangle's dangerous intersections, even as more hotels, restaurants and shopping centers are built there. Many of those intersections are under the purview of the state Department of Transportation, for which pedestrian safety continues to be among the lowest priorities. How long will traffic engineers continue to ignore these deaths?

Independent Weekly


  • I finally got a copy of the accident report from where I was rear-ended trying to stop for pedestrians coming out of Durham School of the Arts. It absolves me of blame, but what it doesn't say is how those kids got out of the way: they were standing right in the path my vehicle took after I was hit and knocked unconscious. Even though it wasn't my fault, I don't know what I would have done if any of them had been killed or injured.

    By the way, over 5 months after the accident, I still don't have a replacement car or a dime out of anyone. I even had to go to court over a claim by the towing company against me, and I'm gonna have to pay that. Fuck you, Liberty Mutual, for sitting on your ass.

    Sorry for the personal aside, but I'm (understandably, I think) really pissed off.

    By Blogger Joe, at 1:58 PM  

  • Let me add that Joe's accident occured on Duke St. It's not just the large thoroughfares referred to in the Indy piece that are under the State's domain.

    Avondale/Alston (NC 55), Roxboro/Mangum (business 15/501), Duke/Gregson, Broad/Guess (NC 157) are all controlled by the state DOT. And all of them are problematic when it comes to pedestrian/vehicle interaction.

    Good to see the Indy start calling attention to this problem.

    By Blogger Barry Ragin, at 3:47 PM  

  • FWIW, it was actually Gregson St., but your point still stands.

    By Blogger Joe, at 6:15 PM  

  • What bears repeating once, bears repeating twice:

    How long will traffic engineers continue to ignore these deaths?

    By Anonymous cd, at 8:37 AM  

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