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Old 05-25-2011, 11:49 AM
 
Location: Polish Hill, Pittsburgh, PA
25,852 posts, read 44,136,646 times
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Default Pittsburgh Ranks 4th Nationally in Terms of Overall Pedestrian Safety

I read with great pleasure this morning an article in the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette regarding our city's most recent bragging right---4th-safest in the nation for pedestrians.

Pittsburgh ranks high in national study on pedestrian safety

Reviews are mixed. Personally I find the amount of jawalking here to be mind-boggling. Also, where people will or will not yield to pedestrians seems to be hit-or-miss. For example, whenever I make residential deliveries on the stretch of Beechwood Boulevard between I-376 and the Waterfront area I have to risk life and limb running across and praying someone will stop for me. There's a well-marked crosswalk at the one intersection (Lilac Street perhaps?) along with a yellow sign indicating there are pedestrians in the area, yet I can stand and wait, and wait....and wait some more before anyone would ever yield the right-of-way at that crosswalk. I know from personal experience nearly mowing people over that jaywalking is aggressive Downtown, where people too lazy to walk an extra 200 feet to a crosswalk just walk in front of passing vehicles.
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Old 05-25-2011, 11:55 AM
 
Location: Portland, OR
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Unless you are along either Penn Ave. or S. Braddock.
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Old 05-25-2011, 11:58 AM
 
Location: Polish Hill, Pittsburgh, PA
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Quote:
Originally Posted by raubre View Post
Unless you are along either Penn Ave. or S. Braddock.
I've almost been rear-ended several times since moving here as I stop in traffic to permit pedestrians to cross streets at well-marked crosswalks. It seems like people are more willing to stop and wave pedestrians across streets in areas with narrower streets, lower speeds, and more street life because they are on-guard and expect the unexpected to jump out in front of their vehicles. That stretch of Beechwood Blvd. I complained about is a living hell, and I feel sorry for the people who are forced to live there. I couldn't imagine living on the east side of that corridor and wanting to walk back-and-forth to buy some groceries at the Giant Eagle on Murray.
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Old 05-25-2011, 12:19 PM
 
Location: Pittsburgh area
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It's one of these things you can never win at. When I'm a pedestrian I get pissed off at cars that don't stop (for example, crossing Liberty downtown at Gateway Center). And yet, there are some pedestrians that stand at a crosswalk not paying attention, perhaps not even intending to cross, so when I'm in my car I get pissed off at them because I'm stopping for them to cross and they're not moving.

People suck.
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Old 05-25-2011, 12:21 PM
 
Location: Athens, GA (via Pittsburgh, PA)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by greg42 View Post
It's one of these things you can never win at. When I'm a pedestrian I get pissed off at cars that don't stop (for example, crossing Liberty downtown at Gateway Center). And yet, there are some pedestrians that stand at a crosswalk not paying attention, perhaps not even intending to cross, so when I'm in my car I get pissed off at them because I'm stopping for them to cross and they're not moving.

People suck.
Or they take their sweet time walking across the street. When I cross the street, I jog across so that I'm less of an impediment to traffic.
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Old 05-25-2011, 01:01 PM
 
Location: Polish Hill, Pittsburgh, PA
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Originally Posted by Gnutella View Post
Or they take their sweet time walking across the street. When I cross the street, I jog across so that I'm less of an impediment to traffic.
Same here. I scurry my fanny.
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Old 05-25-2011, 01:18 PM
 
Location: Pittsburgh area
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I don't run/jog across in a crosswalk, figure that might make me more likely to fall! But I walk briskly. People that amble, yeah, not exactly high on my list either.

It's actually kind of interesting that Pittsburgh ranks high in ped safety. Makes me wonder how bad it is in some other places. I suspect some of them are only marginally worse.

Ah, in fact, if you read the study it shows a list of 52 WORST metro areas and Pittsburgh is 4th from the bottom. By their index number it is tied with New York and only Cleveland and Boston are better/lower (with the latter being much better/lower).

So really what the report says is that Pittsburgh is near the least bad of the list, not that it's particularly great. P-G with some headline spin there, I'd say.

It is interesting that the jaywalking doesn't make it worse than that, but we do have mostly narrow streets. All the worst places were really spread out, car-centric types with wide roads, etc. (Orlando is worst, if I recall.)
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Old 05-25-2011, 01:21 PM
 
1,335 posts, read 716,399 times
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Wow, the rest of the country must be like Death Race 2000 if we're in the top five safest cities. I walk or run a lot, mostly through the Northside, Downtown or The Strip and at least once a week some idiot tries to run me down. Happened just this Saturday in West Park; some lady in a New Beetle Convertible rolled right through a stop sign while I was in the crosswalk.
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Old 05-25-2011, 01:27 PM
Status: "Corn well over knee high!" (set 10 days ago)
 
Location: Foot of the Rockies
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The research article, linked in the PG story, is kind of lame. The group that wrote it seems to be an advocacy group of some sort, and they cooked up some scoring system of their own design. See also the section "Limitations to Data". I'd take it with a grain of salt.
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Old 05-25-2011, 01:39 PM
 
840 posts, read 889,229 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by greg42 View Post
It's actually kind of interesting that Pittsburgh ranks high in ped safety. Makes me wonder how bad it is in some other places. I suspect some of them are only marginally worse.

It is interesting that the jaywalking doesn't make it worse than that, but we do have mostly narrow streets. All the worst places were really spread out, car-centric types with wide roads, etc. (Orlando is worst, if I recall.)
Quote:
Originally Posted by GeneW View Post
Wow, the rest of the country must be like Death Race 2000 if we're in the top five safest cities.
I think the question has been answered! Pittsburgh (downtown anyway) is a railroad-era city and was more or less built with pedestrian and horse/carriage traffic in mind, not massive volumes of automobiles. If you go to strictly automobile era cities like Dallas, Houston, Orlando and Miami (and even Atlanta which was a railroad hub in its early development) pedestrians were not a factor in its development. These cities are all sprawling and low-density as a result and would have to go through major retrofitting to even be conducive to pedestrian traffic.

Also, many sunbelt cities were developed during the era of segregation and specifically designed to cut off major throughfares and limit pedestrian access lest that encourage integration. All it did was make contemporary automobile traffic horrible and cause a lot of people (mainly kids) to get hit by automobile in trying to walk or ride bikes in places strictly designed for cars. Vince Young, the NFL QB, was almost killed as a child in Houston in a bike accident when he was hit by a van. You can't get anywhere in that city without a car.
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