Lower speed limits won’t solve this. TRAFFIC MUST BE SLOWED BY SAFER STREET DESIGN.


Yet another essay by Marohn that is required reading for all Speck street network opinion dispensers, yay or nay, including the otherwise somnolent Bored of Works and its titular leader, Warren Naps, and every city official whose purposeful neglect of the city’s streets puts the lie to their dreary protests of concern for “public safety.”


The light turned signaling it was safe to walk. A four-year-old boy took his mother’s hand. Together they stepped out into the crosswalk on their way to a pre-kindergarten class at the Philip Schuyler Achievement Academy in Albany, NY. A garbage truck came around the corner and they were run down. The boy was killed, the mother’s life horribly changed forever …

 … Let’s be clear: this isn’t an accident. An accident is defined as, “an event that happens by chance without an apparent cause.” While there is certainly an element of chance here — just as with Russian Roulette — there is obviously an underlying, preventable cause. This intersection is really dangerous for people outside of a vehicle. Serious injury is statistically inevitable. The design of this space induces high vehicle speeds in a complex environment not conducive to high speeds. There is only superficial protection for pedestrians and bikers. Indeed, the reporter on the scene was able to speak to someone who had seen a similar incident in the recent past.

Linda McClean, who has worked the morning shift at the Subway sandwich shop across Central Avenue from the crash for four years, said the intersection with Quail Street as seen through the store’s wall of windows is busy with traffic and can be dangerous to pedestrians. She saw a person get hit in the same intersection last summer.

Let’s look at the ways in which this design is deadly for people outside of a vehicle.