Death In The Fast Lane – The Crazy Concept of Pedestrian Crosswalks

The agonizing crunch catapulted Mrs. Vouch Chau’s smashed body 106 feet from the point of impact.

graphic of crosswalk sign and upset people
Crosswalks Are Fracture Factories

Every second of deadly trauma played out like a violent, slow motion movie for Mrs Chau’s horrified children and husband who were trailing mere inches behind her on the crosswalk.

Only fate kept the entire family from being brutally wiped out by the crash and while Mrs. Chau’s earthly struggles were now over, the anguish and anxiety was only beginning for the survivors of this catastrophe, including for the man who killed her.

Another One Bites The Dust

Sixty-eight thousand pedestrians are injured on American roads every year according to a 2009 report by the United States Department of Transportation and that makes walking one of the most dangerous modes of transportation when we contemplate deaths per mile of travel.

But do most people consider walking to be dangerous?

In 2010, vehicle / pedestrian conflicts at crosswalks throughout the United States will pile up more than 5,000 battered bodies of  innocent men, woman and children who were simply going about their business when struck down dead.

And given the high number of good folks who are biting the bullet just for crossing the bloody road, its probably not a bad idea to contemplate declaring an all-out War On Cross Walking, if we really want to save some lives.

Take a look at these heart wrenching and needless calamities involving crosswalks: click on links

Crippled Man in Wheel Chair Killed at Cross Walk – Edmonton, Alberta

88 year old woman Killed on Cross Walk – Mystic, Connecticut

21 year old student Killed on Cross Walk – Ocean City, New Jersey

15 year old girl Killed on Cross Walk – Santa Rosa, California

Mother of two, Age 33, Killed on Cross Walk – Seattle, Washington

28 yr old mother of 12 wk old baby Killed on Cross Walk – Toronto, Canada

91 year old Killed on Cross Walk – North Andover, Massachusetts

84 year old woman Killed on Cross Walk – Calgary, Alberta

32 year old woman Killed on Cross Walk – Orange County, Callifornia

Husband 78, Wife 76 Killed on Cross Walk – Boise, Idaho

Australia has a relative number of pedestrian collisions while the UK seems to be a much safer place to walk. Please see links at the bottom of this post.

Misery Meets Mayhem

One of my main arguments against stand alone crosswalks is that every human suffers from an unavoidable biological blind spot and if folks are indeed driving with impaired vision, should we slight shadow casters be walking brazenly out in front of them?

This whole business of enticing folks to step in front of roaring traffic was conceived of in London in 1868 but it didn’t take those already late drivers long to realize that most foot traffic folks seem to take their own sweet time crossing the road.

Within a few months of being installed, the controlled crossing device was removed and life reverted to the normal chaos crossing system with each hiker taking their own chances.

Good thinking, I say.

Today, crosswalks are ubiquitous and almost every user considers them to be heedless “vehicle free” zones which  gives them the right to clamor through traffic almost at will.

It is this very concept of safety zone invincibility that is so deadly and many studies have proven this attitude of invulnerability to be a major concern:

PEDSAFE – Roughly two out of every three people hit by vehicles at signalized intersections in New York City are crossing with the light.

Residents Say Cross Walk Not Safe – Some folks in Wilmington, NC have a flashy, new crosswalk that doesn’t work.

State Plans To Remove Unsafe Cross Walk – Seattle removes a crosswalk after two girls are struck.

Safer For Pedestrian to cross at unmarked crosswalk 2007 Report to City of Halifax, Nova Scotia regarding pedestrian safety

Elderly Person Risk of Being Struck 3.6 times higher in marked crossing – State of Hawaii Elderly Persons Review

Eight Times More Pedestrian Accidents at Marked Intersections – City Of Twin Falls pedestrian safety research

While these stories are painful to acknowledge, much more suffering happens just outside the painted crosswalk lines.

Every day, hundreds of vehicle collisions occur as drivers are rear ended when they brake unexpectedly for unseen pedestrian activity. These accidents and the injuries they cause are not included in most studies analyzing crosswalk safety.

Take a Walk On The Wild Side

no more bloody shortcuts graphic
Go to your corner and come out swinging

 

Here are my suggestions on how we can save a ton of unnecessary misery from humans and vehicles mixing it up in stand alone crosswalks:

1. Stop Using Them – cross roads only at controlled intersections where vehicles expect to encounter traffic. Teach everybody you care about to do the same. If you MUST cross a road between intersections, look both ways, wait for a lull and dash!

2. Encourage Your Enemies To Use Crosswalks – incite adversaries to ride ridiculous ridge as much as possible in order to reacquaint them with their maker ASAP. And knowing what we now know, we shouldn’t have to wait long… 😉

But really, when I consider that someone is getting smoked in a crosswalk every couple of minutes , I feel sick.

Please give yourself the chance Mrs Chau and her family will never get.

Walk to the corner and live.

Thank you, friend.

Barry out.

PS. Please follow these links to learn more about this subject.

You are 100% blind in one area of your eye. Bet you can’t tell where it is!

Very comprehensive 2008 report on US pedestrian safety – Pedestrian Safety Report To Congress

2008 UK Pedestrian Deaths report – Safer walkers in the UK as only 646 pedestrian deaths that yr

Australian Pedestrian Accidents Report 1990 – 1997

Plenty of effort went into early pedestrian crossings. See this Video

Incredible website for traffic signals and road signs of all kinds!

Please Note: The video below is computer generated animation and the clever author obviously knows this scenario is so possible that most folks will have little trouble believing it.

9 Responses to “Death In The Fast Lane – The Crazy Concept of Pedestrian Crosswalks”

  1. Hi Barry, this is a subject no one ever thinks about until it happens to them. We all take crossing the street for granted. All must know the dangers involved because it only takes seconds for something bad to happen. Everyone please pay attention when driving or crossing the street. Terry Conti

    [Reply]

    Barry Williams Reply:

    You are right, Terry. Every day people are being run over because of this poor pedestrian system.

    I really hope folks do walk to the corner. It takes a few minutes longer but your life will continue much longer as a result.

    Thanks missus.

    Barry

    [Reply]

  2. They are cropping up everywhere in my area. I’d never thought that the money spent on these causes problems, but it’s logical. It eliminates the alertness of one of the elements for a problem. My uncle was struck several months ago. He was lulled into a safe feeling when one of the vehicles stopped to let him cross, but he didn’t notice the one in the next lane over that was not stopping; it was concealed by the car that had stopped. I won’t share the details of the impact.

    [Reply]

    Barry Williams Reply:

    Crosswalks must be avoided at all costs. They’re friggin death zones…

    [Reply]

  3. In my opinion, the government should do something to prevent this from happening again. I think they can deploy traffic enforcers in every crosswalks as much as possible to prevent future accidents.

    [Reply]

    Barry Williams Reply:

    Crosswalks are a stupid idea period.

    The number of lives wasted on these retarded concepts is appalling and needless. Walk to the corner, please.

    [Reply]

  4. Ya, what he said.

    [Reply]

  5. Yes, I agree this is really happening. Sometimes I feel scared too, walking on a pedestrian crossroad. We often hear on the news that many had accidents and death because of the poor system. The government should design a well effective and safe system to solve this problem.
    Johnson recently posted..Skunks-Our Ravine Neighbours Evicted

    [Reply]

    Barry Williams Reply:

    The government designed the present system…

    [Reply]

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