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Cities Pursue Different Paths to One Goal: Safer Streets

In the face of rising pedestrian and bicyclist fatalities, the District of Columbia's police department began deploying automated photo enforcement technologies while San Francisco took a multi-agency, collaborative planning approach.
November 26, 2013, 9am PST | Irvin Dawid
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With bicycle and pedestrian fatalities increasing by 6.5 and 6.4 percent, respectively, we look at different approaches cities are taking to make streets safer for those who bike and walk.

In the District of Columbia, as we posted in September, they see traffic enforcement technology as playing a key role in reducing car collisions with pedestrians, particularly at crosswalks. Enforcement went into effect on Nov. 24, writes Kate Hinds. Five innovative photo-enforcement technologies beyond red light cameras are described and available on video on "DC Street Safe". For example, check out the 30-second video on new stop sign cameras.

The AAA called this approach to traffic safety "the nuclear option," reports Martin DiCaro of WAMU radio.

Chloe Johnson of the San Francisco Examiner writes of the collaboration of the San Francisco Municipal Transportation Agency, Planning Department, Public Health Department and City Controller’s Office to launch "WalkFirst". The goal is to "reduc(e) fatal pedestrian injuries by 25 percent by 2016 and 50 percent by 2021. Over the next five years, $17 million is expected to be spent on the effort." The WalkFirst report (PDF) prepared by the aforementioned agencies was published in Oct., 2011.

A third approach was taken in New York City, as we posted here on Friday, and illustrated below.


At Madison Avenue and 135th Street, a mix of additional pedestrian space and crossing time, turn restrictions, clearer markings, and tighter corners led to an 18 percent reduction in injuries. Photos: NYC DOT

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Published on Friday, November 22, 2013 in Transportation Nation
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