Dangerous By Design
Recently, several pedestrians in various locations in Berks County have been struck while walking across our streets. Too often, the victim is found to be at fault for walking where pedestrians are not allowed to walk. Such is the case with the following story reported in the Reading Eagle Newspaper:
"A woman and her adult son were struck by a car and injured Monday night while crossing the Fifth Street Highway near the Fairgrounds Square Mall in Muhlenberg Township, police said.
The 60-year-old woman and her 25-year-old son.... were walking to the mall and crossing the road ... when they were both struck by a southbound car ... Reading, police said.
[Driver] was not at fault, police said, adding that the area is clearly marked with a "No pedestrian crossing" sign
...Investigators said she had a green light and did not see the pedestrians in time to stop..."
In the report released by Transportation for America:
In the last 15 years, more than 76,000 Americans have been killed while crossing or walking along a street in their community. Children, the elderly and ethnic minorities are disproportionately represented in this figure, but people of all ages and all walks of life have been struck down in the simple act of walking. These deaths typically are labeled “accidents,” and attributed to error on the part of motorist or pedestrian. In fact, however, an overwhelming proportion share a similar factor: They occurred along roadways that were dangerous by design, streets that were engineered for speeding cars and made little or no provision for people on foot, in wheelchairs or on a bicycle.
The answer: Prevent deaths and promote health with safer design!