Dependable Erection

Tuesday, August 11, 2009

No wonder

Watching whoever was driving police cruiser H-271 blow through the Roxboro/Knox intersection around 8 this morning, while a pedestrian was crossing the street in the crosswalk, i realized why Durham doesn't enforce pedestrian right-of-way laws. It's because the cops don't know they exist.

I'm sure Chief Lopez will be addressing this shortcoming in the immediate future, right after he gets around to jumpstarting the PACE Car program, which has languished since Eric Hester's retirement.




  • Is is time to come up with a new city slogan?

    Durham - where law breaking happens
    Durham - we don't need no steenkin' speed limits
    Durham - I work for the city, laws don't apply to me

    By Blogger SteveG, at 10:42 AM  

  • "Durham - You're on your own."

    By Blogger Barry, at 10:45 AM  

  • I'm sure the officer in question had a perfectly good reason to not notice someone crossing Roxboro. Such as fiddling with their laptop and/or talking on their cell phone.

    I can actually spot the unmarked cars when they go through our neighborhood (which don't get me wrong--I am generally glad that they do) by how they drive. Heavy gas, heavy break (easy to hear with the big V8s which most cars don't have anymore) even to go between stop signs a quarter of a mile or less apart.

    By Blogger Brian, at 11:20 AM  

  • 1 - not unmarked car.

    2 - definitely not on the cell phone.

    3 - maybe on the laptop, probably not.

    didn't Frank Stasio do a bit on State of Things a few weeks ago, where he talked about the feds noticing that Durham and the Triangle has a higher rate of motor vehicle vs. pedestrian/bicycle accidents than other comparable areas? I know i got a bunch of emails about it, but never got a chance to listen.

    This helps to explain why.

    By Blogger Barry, at 11:31 AM  

  • My observation has been that city employees - from all departments - pretty much ignore the speed limits. This, in turn, sends a message to Durham residents that the city doesn't care about speeding, so drive as fast as you want.

    This needs to change if we are to have even a snowballs chance in hell of fixing the rampant speeding problem that exists throughout our city.

    By Blogger SteveG, at 11:44 AM  

  • Steve - the issue as i see it is that nobody in a position to do anything about it sees speeding as a "rampant problem."

    Talk to the city manager about it, and he'll tell you that your neighborhood is lucky that speeding is your worst problem. The police chief has yet to acknowledge, AFAIK, that it's an issue throughout our city. The mayor hasn't said word 1 that i've heard. there's one or two council members who acknowledge the impact on our daily lives that the abuse of our streets has, but that's it.

    The PACE car program was a great starting point, since it cost virtually nothing and had a decent visibility. But like so many things in Durham, it had not institutionality in place, and as soon as Eric Hester retired, it totally disappeared. As we've seen, pedestrian accidents involving Duke students trying to go to Whole Foods gets everyone in a tizzy, and once inviolable regulations about how close together traffic lights can be, for instance, suddenly are flexible.

    High school students being killed crossing Guess Road on their way to Riverside? Well, the radar trailer went up for a few days after that one. But the guy who hit a woman in a crosswalk on Guess near Infinity? Last i heard he wasn't even charged. And don't hold your breath waiting for any infrastructure changes up there.

    Similar situation in East Durham, around Miami and Geer, for example. There should be some improvements for pedestrians there, but who knows how long it'll be before they're actually in place.

    Problem is, none of our leadership does anything other than drive to get around Durham. They seem to be happy with that.

    By Blogger Barry, at 12:09 PM  

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