kermit

Pedestrian Shaming in Charlotte

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3 hours ago, southslider said:

Those complaining about people crossing away from marked crosswalks have likely driven across empty spaces in a parking lot, as well as walked between their parked cars and building doors outside marked crosswalks in parking lots.

Culturally, we accept parking lots as messy places to slow down, since both drivers and pedestrians are expected to interface outside of marked lines. Meanwhile, our society has somehow treated our streets more like predictably lifeless expressways, instead of unpredictably busy shopping centers.

This is such an interesting comment to me.  Years ago, I used to conduct some regattas for windsurfing.  I inherited a mess from the prior regatta chairman. The guy before me had rules after rules.  If someone rounded a mark on the wrong side of a sailor he/she had to penalize themself.  All kinds of points and penalties. I got so overwhelmed.  Out of frustration, I just tried a single race with NO holds barred. No rules. No penalites. Heck, if you wanted you could knock the other windsurfer off their board and keep going.  Believe it or not, that one race changed all my subsequent races to NO RULES, except of course you had to rounds certain markers.  Things became civil. Nobody knocked over anyone else. Nobody challenged another. And, we all would have the best beer parties afterward.  

Human beings are funny creatures.

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I hate how car-centric everything in Charlotte is, and I’m a “car guy”. I worked at NAPA on Independence for a while and I used to watch people with backpacks and baby strollers climb over the wall every morning to get to the express bus stop on the inbound side. I can imagine the Facebook comments if someone (and/or their baby) was struck and killed there...

“why were they climbing over that wall”

“why didn’t they walk down to the bridge at Conference, it’s only .5 miles away” 

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A handy guide on "Six Ways the Media is Still Blaming the Victim." I will say that Observer coverage of pedestrian deaths is improving a bit in this regard.

an excerpt:

Quote

#3. Offering “counterfactuals”

The report referred to bits of information we would probably call “victim-blaming” as counter-factual.

“These statements imply that the [vulnerable road user] would not have been hit if they had acted differently, for example stating that the victim was wearing dark clothing or crossing outside a crosswalk,” the authors write.

Just under half of the articles —48 percent — had at least one counterfactual. These statements “shift blame toward the victim,” the research team wrote.

https://usa.streetsblog.org/2019/01/14/six-ways-the-media-is-still-blaming-the-victim/

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It just happens that the US city that has most embraced transit growth over the past decade has also bucked the trend on pedestrian deaths. Seattle is one of a small number of cities which saw pedestrian deaths decrease in 2018 (and also one of the few cities to see transit use increase)

https://www.seattletimes.com/seattle-news/transportation/seattle-traffic-deaths-and-injuries-down-slightly-last-year-most-of-the-fatalities-were-pedestrians/

Its nice to hear so much about our Vision Zero efforts /sarcasm/

Edited by kermit
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4 hours ago, kermit said:

It just happens that the US city that has most embraced transit growth over the past decade has also bucked the trend on pedestrian deaths. Seattle is one of a small number of cities which saw pedestrian deaths decrease... 

Its nice to hear so much about our Vision Zero efforts /sarcasm/

Even when I lived in Seattle 19-years ago, it felt like drivers, the police and pedestrians took pedestrian safety seriously. Police ticketed drivers for not being mindful of pedestrian safety and pedestrians for jaywalking.

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The worst is on Tryon near Stonewall.  The sidewalk in front of Legacy Union is closed so all pedestrians must use the sidewalk on the Tryon Place side of the street.  But construction has blocked off part of that sidewalk so pedestrians must now walk in the bike lane where scooters/bicyclist are also trying to get to uptown.  Thankfully there are barriers to protect pedestrians from car traffice but two construction entrances are located right at this chokepoint.  How the heck is this allowed?

Edited by ChessieCat
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Recently I have heard the term "Automobile Supremacy" or "Motorist Supremacy" and find these to be the most vivid and accurate description of the status quo.

I am interested what you all think?

I am aware that co-opting such terminology most often associated with discussions of civil rights is extremely fraught, especially since I am a white male US citizen, and experience a higher level of privilege daily than nearly anyone in the world because of it. Nevertheless, at my own peril, I will say that any pedestrian or cyclist in the southeastern US gets at least a small taste of what it feels like to be an oppressed minority, when they are on foot.

Things have gotten this way because of a century long campaign to move anything and everything out of the way of cars.

Here is their attitude:
People who cannot drive or choose not to do so are a part of the problem. They should just drive like normal people. We need to do everything possible to make sure they stay on their proper place: on the sidewalk, in the crosswalk, pushing beg buttons for the privilege of waiting three minutes in exchange for 20 seconds in which to scurry across eight lanes of traffic, where everybody stops their car on top of the crosswalk and right turners roll on through the intersection at 20mph in spite of the red light, without a second thought. Anybody who challenges the status quo must be gaslighted and attacked. How DARE they suggest there is a problem! We already provide some facilities for them, occasionally even with OUR fuel taxes (The nerve!) even though non-motorists are so clearly in the minority. So pedestrians are the privileged ones! And if we give in any further, even in the slightest, think of the terrible inconvenience that the motorist majority will have to bear!

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On 3/11/2019 at 3:34 PM, davidclt said:

Even when I lived in Seattle 19-years ago, it felt like drivers, the police and pedestrians took pedestrian safety seriously. Police ticketed drivers for not being mindful of pedestrian safety and pedestrians for jaywalking.

My first time in Seattle I was walking around downtown on a Sunday, walked up to a red light and 10 people were standing there, not crossing the street, and not a car in sight. The streets were empty. I went ahead and just started crossing. No one followed me. LOL.  That was different than any place I'd ever been. 

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15 minutes ago, Bruco72 said:

My first time in Seattle I was walking around downtown on a Sunday, walked up to a red light and 10 people were standing there, not crossing the street, and not a car in sight. The streets were empty. I went ahead and just started crossing. No one followed me. LOL.  That was different than any place I'd ever been. 

Philly has all of their lights facing the sidewalk, so all of the sidewalks have a clear view of the light, green for sidewalks to go too, and they are all synced. As chaotic as that city is, even their drivers have it figured out too.

Obviously the weather contributes to those numbers (warmer states mean more people outside), but I bet if you looked at the average distance between traffic lights, these numbers would parallel pretty closely.  Most of those states (not as much LA, MS, NM, AL) have all blown up in a post car era. Not really sure why LA or NM is so high on this list to be honest.

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3 hours ago, orulz said:

Recently I have heard the term "Automobile Supremacy" or "Motorist Supremacy" and find these to be the most vivid and accurate description of the status quo.

I think this is a very accurate label for the attitude of drivers towards pedestrians.

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3 hours ago, Bruco72 said:

My first time in Seattle I was walking around downtown on a Sunday, walked up to a red light and 10 people were standing there, not crossing the street, and not a car in sight. The streets were empty. I went ahead and just started crossing. No one followed me. LOL.  That was different than any place I'd ever been. 

In Europe this is common place.  First time I arrived in Germany, my local colleagues warned me NOT to cross the street until the crosswalk turned green or run the risk of getting fined, especially in the business district.  No one, and i mean no one, crosses the street until the green man flashes.   The only place you saw jaywalking was in heavily tourist areas (which was likely Americans anyways).

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1 hour ago, EllAyyDub said:

I recently noticed the little white man in the box that tells pedestrians it is OK to cross the street lights up about three seconds before the traffic light turns green in uptown.   I appreciate this and it's a nice touch by the city - it's one of those subconscious things that I think actually goes a long way.  I don't think it will be necessary once pedestrians are truly established in the city (like NY, Chicago, etc.), but is really nice as that pedestrian awareness by auto drivers is built up.  Don't think I've noticed this in other peer cities during my travels.

I think CDOT made that change last summer or so. I hope they continue to push that change out to non-Uptown intersections (and eliminate beg buttons along the way). There are still certain intersections like 36th & Davidson and Charlottetown & Kings that are still require beg buttons and that's insane. 

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Speaking of pedestrians being considered as ‘less than’ (admittedly it’s not all about pedestrians)

 

 

Edited by kermit
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3 hours ago, EllAyyDub said:

I recently noticed the little white man in the box that tells pedestrians it is OK to cross the street lights up about three seconds before the traffic light turns green in uptown.   I appreciate this and it's a nice touch by the city - it's one of those subconscious things that I think actually goes a long way.  I don't think it will be necessary once pedestrians are truly established in the city (like NY, Chicago, etc.), but is really nice as that pedestrian awareness by auto drivers is built up.  Don't think I've noticed this in other peer cities during my travels.

https://www.seattletimes.com/seattle-news/transportation/seattle-traffic-deaths-and-injuries-down-slightly-last-year-most-of-the-fatalities-were-pedestrians/

 

Seattle and NYC also do this.

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2 hours ago, kermit said:

Meanwhile in First Ward Park:

 

04ED8379-FA72-4E51-968E-0C890E2EB5EB.jpeg

I hate this crossing so much. With the bricks it feels like it should just be part of the park and then you have to suddenly stop when a car flies through. 

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20 hours ago, sakami said:

I hate this crossing so much. With the bricks it feels like it should just be part of the park and then you have to suddenly stop when a car flies through. 

I'm not clear on the purpose of the crosswalk (and signs indicating a pedestrian crossing) if in fact cars have right-of-way‽ 

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