A Step Towards Pedestrian Safety

A Step Towards Pedestrian Safety

 It’s safer to walk in the city than the suburbs, according to a report from the nonprofit Coalition for Smarter Growth. Pedestrian accidents in Prince George’s and Fairfax Counties are more likely to be fatal due to higher traffic speeds. Arlington, Alexandria and the District are safest for walkers, according to the report. A Google map would have helped this report and engaged the public.

The report urges authorities in urbanizing areas to recognize that their former highways are now boulevards, and act accordingly.

The Coalition includes policy reccommendations for Fairfax County, especially the dangerous Route 1:

lower speed roads where pedestrians are present

Reduce 45 mph segments to 35 mph on Route 1

pedestrian crossing islands since traffic signals are short and confusing due to turn patterns

striped crosswalks on all legs of intersections with traffic signals

Defined street edges

Increased roadway lighting

continuous sidewalks on both sides of arterial roads

Limit and consolidate driveways into major roadways

It doesn’t take a rocket scientist to find suburban pedestrian “hot spots.” Look for places where constant foot travel has worn paths of bare soil. See the places opposite strip malls and bus stops where the paths turn into the roadway? Put a crosswalk there, right now, before another pedestrian dies.


Image by Mike Licht. Look both ways, then download a copy here. Creative Commons license. Credit: Mike Licht.

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