Dependable Erection

Tuesday, June 16, 2009

Small steps

I guess this got reprinted in yesterday's print Herald-Sun, though it's originally from the Jacksonville (NC) Daily News:
As the city increases efforts toward pedestrian safety, the Jacksonville Police Department is as well.

The traffic and patrol divisions of the police department have started enforcing pedestrian safety in recent weeks, said JPD Lt. Tony Campbell, with the traffic division.

Traffic officers and community officers pose as pedestrians and bicyclists and cross at various intersections and crosswalks throughout the city as unmarked patrol cars watch from nearby. When drivers don't yield the right of way to the officers posing as pedestrians they are stopped and enforcement action is taken, Campbell said.

The infraction entails a fine and court costs. The fine is at the discretion of the judge, Campbell said.

"We feel that we're trying to educate people on pedestrian crossing and we're trying to make more people aware of what the laws are and what they're responsible to do when a pedestrian is crossing to try to reduce these fatalities and injuries," he said.

As always, the commenters will provide your best entertainment value.

We've talked in the past about the "Three E's" that are necessary for walkable communities - education, engineering, enforcement. In a lot of ways, our engineering hands are tied. Many of Durham's streets are state maintained and designed primarily to move the maximum number of vehicles from point A to point B. That leaves education and enforcement, which go hand in hand. The best way to learn the lesson that pedestrians are part of the transportation mix and have certain rights is with a financial hit when people violate those rights.

Let's hope Chief Lopez is paying attention.

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  • For the last month or so, I've been doing a lot of biking and walking in Durham.

    My first reaction on reading this blog was, "Yeah, and don't forget to enforce the rules for bicyclists, also. The bad ones (who bounce from sidewalk to roadway to wrong-way-down-a-one-way without care) give everybody else a bad rap, and make drivers hate bicyclists.

    But my second reaction was, "you know -- I'm pretty sure that bad cyclists are a tiny number compared to bad drivers. Yes please, focus on the drivers who ignore the pedestrian crossings."

    (And for PR, if nothing else, push people to use the pedestrian crossings instead of darting across streets wherever. Even if darting across the street is legal, we'll all be better off if people get into the habit of using the ped crossings.)

    By Blogger Marsosudiro, at 11:42 AM  

  • I'm amazed that this is being done in Jacksonville. It is so completely car-centric in every way, except for all the Marines who have no cars. But good for them!

    By Blogger Stockard Channing, at 2:51 PM  

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