Luckily, however, there are well understood ways to fix the problem. According to a recent article in The Globe and Mail, there are actually quite a few possible solutions:
You can blame people for accidents. Or you can blame bad design.
That’s where, increasingly, planners trying to prevent pedestrian collisions are going. Rather than put the onus on pedestrians to stay out of the way of cars, planners and engineers are considering how to make streets and intersections safer.
“One of the best investments we make is in the design of the road,” says ICBC road-safety manager Sonny Senghera, as he reels off a list of improvements that the provincial insurance agency encourages and even contributes money to in B.C. cities.
The article goes on to explain things such as lights with built in timers, lower speed limits, more crosswalks and other things. There’s more information than I want to quote directly here, so click over for the whole article.
In light of the article, what’s baffling is that communities continue to tolerate — or worse, build — dangerous streets. Both the problems and the solutions are intuitive and in most cases simple. The question really boils down to whether or not people’s lives and an endless commitment of tax dollars are worth as much as a few minutes or seconds of commute time.