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Pedestrian Shaming in Charlotte


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Regarding complete streets...I still do not understand why bicycle lanes share the road with cars.  Take University City Blvd as an example; it is a recently-built boulevard with a 35 mph speed limit,

If I ever learn ArcGIS pro I’ll make one of these for Charlotte...    

I thought it might be useful to catalog incidents of pedestrian shaming in Charlotte for purposes of improvement. From my perspective these incidents include ignoring the needs of pedestrians during c

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2 hours ago, kermit said:

Exhibit A: Today's Observer story on a pedestrian killed by a driver in Southpark  https://www.charlotteo

From what I'm hearing, this was an elderly neighbor who was trying to cross Sharon at the sharp s-curve between Sharon Towers and Sulkirk.  She got to the middle of the road and was stranded on the yellow line when she was hit by the driver.  

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17 hours ago, Bikeguy said:

From what I'm hearing, this was an elderly neighbor who was trying to cross Sharon at the sharp s-curve between Sharon Towers and Sulkirk.  She got to the middle of the road and was stranded on the yellow line when she was hit by the driver.  

I live right by there.  No one should ever try to cross the road there no matter what time of day, and especially at 6pm in the rain.   

20 hours ago, kermit said:

I thought it might be useful to catalog incidents of pedestrian shaming in Charlotte for purposes of improvement. From my perspective these incidents include ignoring the needs of pedestrians during construction projects, victim blaming when pedestrians are hit by drivers and the general expectation that "good" people always drive.

Exhibit A: Today's Observer story on a pedestrian killed by a driver in Southpark  https://www.charlotteobserver.com/news/local/article221632525.html

The (conflicted) implication here is that the pedestrian is at fault for not being in a crosswalk. Why mention the crosswalk at all if it was impossible to be in one?

In this case, if what Bike guy says is true, this is 100% to blame on the pedestrian.  There is nothing on the other side of the road from Sharon Towers that someone can't use the designated crosswalk at Sharon View.  There is nothing between  Sharonview and the Harris Y that you would need to cross across a busy road, in the rain, at a sharp curve instead of at the crosswalk at Sharonview or the Y.   There are no stores, shops, services on that stretch of road.   

I regularly see people trying to cross Fairview in front of McDonald's to the mall/bus station.   Y'all too lazy to walk 1 minute to  one of two crosswalks? 

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On ‎11‎/‎14‎/‎2018 at 10:47 AM, kermit said:

I thought it might be useful to catalog incidents of pedestrian shaming in Charlotte for purposes of improvement. From my perspective these incidents include ignoring the needs of pedestrians during construction projects, victim blaming when pedestrians are hit by drivers and the general expectation that "good" people always drive.



Exhibit A: Today's Observer story on a pedestrian killed by a driver in Southpark  https://www.charlotteobserver.com/news/local/article221632525.html

The (conflicted) implication here is that the pedestrian is at fault for not being in a crosswalk. Why mention the crosswalk at all if it was impossible to be in one?

TBF the article did avoid shifting responsibility for the death from the driver to the car (something that frequently happens in news stories about pedestrian incidents). Props to the Observer for making progress on this!

 

To me it's not blaming the victim to point out that the person was trying to cross in the dark, in the rain, nowhere near a traffic light, and not in a crosswalk.     

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My office window in the Park Abby building overlooks Park Road @ Abby Place.  I cannot tell you how many times I've seen pedestrians forego walking 90 feet to a signalized crosswalk to cross five lanes of traffic to get to the bus stop across the street, some pushing a stroller over a raised concrete median.  

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50 minutes ago, lancer22 said:

To me it's not blaming the victim to point out that the person was trying to cross in the dark, in the rain, nowhere near a traffic light, and not in a crosswalk.     

The other perspective on this is that the drivers are going too fast for the conditions (dark and rain). If they hit somebody that is undeniably the case. 

Should pedestrians just stay home if it’s dark or raining? Should they just stay on their side of the street if there is no crosswalk? 

It’s not the pedestrians who are controlling the deadly weapon in question here. Why is society so intent to shift responsibility for pedestrian deaths from drivers to pedestrians?  

 

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2 hours ago, kermit said:

The other perspective on this is that the drivers are going too fast for the conditions (dark and rain). If they hit somebody that is undeniably the case. 

Should pedestrians just stay home if it’s dark or raining? Should they just stay on their side of the street if there is no crosswalk? 

It’s not the pedestrians who are controlling the deadly weapon in question here. Why is society so intent to shift responsibility for pedestrian deaths from drivers to pedestrians?  

 

Ah but do we know how fast the driver was going? I think the second point you are making is assuming what you have to demonstrate. By your standard, in every case of a pedestrian being hit, the driver is driving too fast.

Pedestrians should take extra precautions if it's dark and/or raining. Crossing Sharon Rd while not in a crosswalk and nowhere near a signalized intersection / stop sign in the dark, in rainy conditions is just plain not smart.        

 

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5 minutes ago, lancer22 said:

Ah but do we know how fast the driver was going? I think the second point you are making is assuming what you have to demonstrate. By your standard, in every case of a pedestrian being hit, the driver is driving too fast.

If a driver hits something in the road then they are driving too fast for the conditions -- it doesn't matter how fast they are going (I believe this is state law). To be clear I am saying that drivers are at fault in every case where pedestrians are hit unless its the pedestrian intentionally wants to be hit (e.g. suicide)

7 minutes ago, lancer22 said:

Pedestrians should take extra precautions if it's dark and/or raining. Crossing Sharon Rd while not in a crosswalk and nowhere near a signalized intersection / stop sign in the dark, in rainy conditions is just plain not smart.       

And why shouldn't drivers take extra precautions (by slowing down) in these conditions? Its just plain not smart for drivers to be out if they can't see well enough to avoid things in the road.

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44 minutes ago, kermit said:

If a driver hits something in the road then they are driving too fast for the conditions -- it doesn't matter how fast they are going (I believe this is state law). To be clear I am saying that drivers are at fault in every case where pedestrians are hit unless its the pedestrian intentionally wants to be hit (e.g. suicide) 

And why shouldn't drivers take extra precautions (by slowing down) in these conditions? Its just plain not smart for drivers to be out if they can't see well enough to avoid things in the road.

I disagree with your first point, but I guess there's no getting past that. Not a legal expert so can't comment there. 

I think drivers should, but that's a non sequitur...... 

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23 hours ago, kermit said:

To be clear I am saying that drivers are at fault in every case where pedestrians are hit unless its the pedestrian intentionally wants to be hit (e.g. suicide)

I'm in agreement with most of what you and Sgt and others are saying above except this. Pedestrians, though being the major underdog in our built environment, still have the personal responsibility to themselves and others to follow the law and general safe practices.

Pedestrians are not infallible except in  cases of suicide. I've personally seen many cases of other reasons. A mentally incapable person (dementia, handicapped, or others who don't know to not dart), drunk,  but the most common "I forgot to look". The last becoming far more common since the advancement of cell phones. 

My point of all this is not to say cars are only right, because again, I agree with most of the above and change is needed. Pedestrians and bicyclist need higher pecking order to establish change in our built environment and people's mentality toward the beloved car. But I can't blame every driver always anymore than I can blame a train driver who hits a person crossing tracks not at a crosswalk, a bus driver hitting a car that darts out in front of them, or a trolley hitting a jaywalker. 

I don't have the answers but blaming only vehicles when we're all imperfect isn't the answer. 

Edited by 11 HouseBZ
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17 hours ago, Bikeguy said:

§ 20-174.  Crossing at other than crosswalks; walking along highway.

(a)        Every pedestrian crossing a roadway at any point other than within a marked crosswalk or within an unmarked crosswalk at an intersection shall yield the right-of-way to all vehicles upon the roadway.

(b)        Any pedestrian crossing a roadway at a point where a pedestrian tunnel or overhead pedestrian crossing has been provided shall yield the right-of-way to all vehicles upon the roadway.

(c)        Between adjacent intersections at which traffic-control signals are in operation pedestrians shall not cross at any place except in a marked crosswalk.

(d)       Where sidewalks are provided, it shall be unlawful for any pedestrian to walk along and upon an adjacent roadway. Where sidewalks are not provided, any pedestrian walking along and upon a highway shall, when practicable, walk only on the extreme left of the roadway or its shoulder facing traffic which may approach from the opposite direction. Such pedestrian shall yield the right-of-way to approaching traffic.

(e)        Notwithstanding the provisions of this section, every driver of a vehicle shall exercise due care to avoid colliding with any pedestrian upon any roadway, and shall give warning by sounding the horn when necessary, and shall exercise proper precaution upon observing any child or any confused or incapacitated person upon a roadway. (1937, c. 407, s. 135; 1973, c. 1330, s. 33.)

I don't think you are fully looking at this deep enough. Yes, those are the rules. But no matter what, pedestrians are at a disposition because our infrastructure is built for cars primarily. There is little thought put into how a pedestrian can get around, which makes it unsafe and in some places almost impossible to get around without a car. People seem to forget that cars are crazy expensive and that there are people who can't afford them or generally don't want to throw their money away at a bad investment. Our infrastructure shouldn't be geared towards one form of transportation but equally helpful to drivers, walkers, bikers, and transit riders. 

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On 11/15/2018 at 4:13 PM, Bikeguy said:

§ 20-174.  Crossing at other than crosswalks; walking along highway.

(a)        Every pedestrian crossing a roadway at any point other than within a marked crosswalk or within an unmarked crosswalk at an intersection shall yield the right-of-way to all vehicles upon the roadway.

(b)        Any pedestrian crossing a roadway at a point where a pedestrian tunnel or overhead pedestrian crossing has been provided shall yield the right-of-way to all vehicles upon the roadway.

(c)        Between adjacent intersections at which traffic-control signals are in operation pedestrians shall not cross at any place except in a marked crosswalk.

(d)       Where sidewalks are provided, it shall be unlawful for any pedestrian to walk along and upon an adjacent roadway. Where sidewalks are not provided, any pedestrian walking along and upon a highway shall, when practicable, walk only on the extreme left of the roadway or its shoulder facing traffic which may approach from the opposite direction. Such pedestrian shall yield the right-of-way to approaching traffic.

(e)        Notwithstanding the provisions of this section, every driver of a vehicle shall exercise due care to avoid colliding with any pedestrian upon any roadway, and shall give warning by sounding the horn when necessary, and shall exercise proper precaution upon observing any child or any confused or incapacitated person upon a roadway. (1937, c. 407, s. 135; 1973, c. 1330, s. 33.)

(c) refers to "adjacent intersections at which traffic-control signals are in operation".  I assume this means when there are consecutive signalized intersections.... so if there is an non-signalized intersection in between two signalized intersections, this provision does not apply.

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The Observer is on it (thanks Ely!). However, the press continues to shift blame away from drivers when  only one party in each collision is controlling a deadly weapon. This rhetorical strategy is just a hair away from saying that victims in mass shootings are to blame for their own deaths because they were not wearing kevlar.

https://www.charlotteobserver.com/news/local/article222300240.html

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That means 87 pedestrians have died in Charlotte over the past five years, with a large majority of the deaths occurring in the past two years. It’s part of a nationwide trend that’s seen deaths surge in the past decade, especially in urban areas.

 
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Cell phones might be distracting drivers and walkers. [sure, but only one of these two things actually kills people]

My hat is off to Ely for making this point:

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Binns said he worries the focus on scooter safety is overshadowing the pedestrian fatality crisis that’s claiming two to three lives a month on Charlotte streets.

“I feel like the council is maybe focusing too much on a problem that isn’t as serious as the pedestrian deaths,” said Binns. “The city would do better by focusing more on the existing problem of pedestrian fatalities.”

 

Ely also deserves credit for this addition to the story about the Sharon towers death earlier this month (I added the emphasis):

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“The victim was not crossing in a crosswalk,” CMPD investigators noted. “However there are no crosswalks in the area.”

The nearest crosswalk is a half-mile away, and using it could have added about a mile to Frazier’s walk.

 

 

Edited by kermit
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Scooters get all the press because they are somewhat controversial... but Council adopted a Vision Zero policy last year, and CDOT is working on a Vision Zero action plan that Council has already allocated $4m to start implementing things. The pedestrian fatalities issue is clearly something that is being taken seriously, so don't discount what is being done.  If you aren't familiar with VZ, please check out this link  or google it. The goal is to have zero fatalities on city roadways, which is the only acceptable goal.

https://charlottenc.gov/VisionZero/Pages/VisionZero.aspx

 

On 11/26/2018 at 11:23 AM, archiham04 said:

(c) refers to "adjacent intersections at which traffic-control signals are in operation".  I assume this means when there are consecutive signalized intersections.... so if there is an non-signalized intersection in between two signalized intersections, this provision does not apply.

That is correct. That's why "jaywalking" isn't enforceable outside of uptown.

 

On 11/16/2018 at 9:40 AM, Nathan2 said:

I don't think you are fully looking at this deep enough. Yes, those are the rules. But no matter what, pedestrians are at a disposition because our infrastructure is built for cars primarily. There is little thought put into how a pedestrian can get around, which makes it unsafe and in some places almost impossible to get around without a car. People seem to forget that cars are crazy expensive and that there are people who can't afford them or generally don't want to throw their money away at a bad investment. Our infrastructure shouldn't be geared towards one form of transportation but equally helpful to drivers, walkers, bikers, and transit riders. 

This is also correct. It's a combination of roadway design and land use patterns. Walking on Sharon Road sucks because drivers always speed, the sidewalks are right next to the speeding drivers, and the stuff those people want to walk to is too far away. It's going to be a tough problem to crack without changing existing subdivisions.

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