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Archive for the ‘highways’ Category

This has been a grim year for pedestrians in San Jose, with 23 fatalities (thus far). But San Jose leaders have come up with a brilliant solution: widen roadways and speed up the traffic!

Officials in San Jose think a possible solution to the recent uptick in fatal pedestrian deaths plaguing the city could be to widen the roads at a couple of traffic trouble spots.

The plan involves a land swap that will allow officials to widen Branham Road and Snell Avenue, two of the most problematic streets in the city. San Jose plans to use the strips to widen Branham and Snell. Right now, the roadway narrows down and forces cars to merge within a short distance.

This project will widen a 2-lane road into 4-lane, with medians along with new signals. This will greatly speed up traffic, leading to more death and destruction. It is crazy they call it a pedestrian safety project.

In a 2017 memo, Councilmember Khamis called this a “Green” infrastructure project, and proposed taking $2 million out of the Essential Services Fund to help pay for it.

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Branham Ln current configuration

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Not the Onion

The LAPD is finally getting serious about this Vision Zero thing….by handing out free hiviz vests and LED lights to pedestrians:

The department is working with State Farm to hand out roughly 1,200 vests and 700 lights in an effort to reduce pedestrian deaths on city streets, which are among the deadliest in the nation.

Speaking at a press conference on Nov. 28, Moore said the vests will “give a fighting chance for (pedestrians) to be seen and observed and to protect themselves,” especially when walking at night.

“We have defensive driving, there’s defensive walking as well,” he said.

This initiative comes at the same time Los Angeles is raising speed limits on 100+ miles of streets.

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What can be done to cure Florida of its parking addiction problem?

Repairs to a  parking garage for state senators and their staff, costing $28 million, are nearly complete. The underground parking garage holds 210 cars.

So the cost? $133,000 per space.

Just across the street, a parking garage with room for 100 cars sits virtually empty.

The spending is taking place as the Department of Corrections is cutting a like amount, $29 million, from substance abuse treatment. The cuts will close some programs and send some offenders to prison.

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Police are notorious for absolving drivers of criminality in fatalities involving bikes and peds. In what may be the latest instance of this, there is the case of a cyclist struck and killed last night by an SUV in Bay Point. Here is how it was reported:

A 34-year-old bicyclist died Monday night after running into an SUV, the California Highway Patrol said.

According to the CHP, the bicyclist was going east on Canal Road but was in the middle of the road and not in a bike lane. A 51-year-old Pittsburg man driving a Ford Explorer also was going east on Canal Road and was behind the bike, when the bike abruptly made a left-hand turn and plowed into the right-hand side of the SUV.

There are some troubling issues with this narrative. A cyclist is expected to move out of the bike lane into the middle of the road when making a left-turn. If he had already taken the lane, then his left turn was not necessarily abrupt. Of course, it would be helpful to know whether the cyclist signaled his turning intentions, but unfortunately he is not around to give his version of events. The CHP also reports drugs/alcohol may be involved, but that does not excuse a dangerous passing maneuver. Unless there are some other details not being released, this is looking like a case of investigators having windshield-bias.

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Darren FAIL

Twitter readers are not impressed with lackluster job Cheshire Council (UK) has been doing on pothole repair:
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Within the past 5 weeks, there have been 4 pedestrian deaths along a single stretch of Route 9 in Monmouth County, NJ. So authorities are stepping up their safety efforts. Are they shutting down a dangerous road or implementing speed reductions? No, of course not. They are putting out an important announcement on social media:

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Their facebook posting includes a GIF animation of Gizmo from the film Gremlins. Engineers work very hard to eliminate gremlins (glitches) from a system, which I guess is how Monmouth county views pedestrians. This kind of blame-the-victim is all too common among law enforcement, and will be completely ineffective.

Meanwhile, the car-nage countinues:

The Monmouth County prosecutor’s office posted that message on Facebook Friday afternoon, meant as a reminder to residents to be careful as they come and go. Six days earlier, authorities had responded to yet another fatal pedestrian accident where a man was struck and killed while crossing Route 9 after dark.

Two days later, they were dealing with yet another fatality.

When Isidro Martinez-Mendez, 51, of Lakewood, died Sunday evening, he was crossing Route 9. In the dark. In an area with no crosswalk, authorities have said. His death was the second fatal accident involving a pedestrian on Route 9 in just over a week and fourth on Route 9 in just over a month.

And the problem isn’t just Monmouth county but also nearby Ocean county:

It’s not only a problem along Route 9 in Monmouth County. In Ocean County, there have been 8 pedestrian deaths this year, including Irene D. Perosi, 53, of Lakewood, who was struck and killed Dec. 5 while crossing Shorrock Street, which runs along the Brick Township border near the senior communities of Leisure Village East and Four Seasons in Lakewood. She was not in a crosswalk, said Al Della Fave, spokesman for the Ocean County Prosecutor’s Office. There were 8 pedestrian deaths in Ocean County in 2016 as well, State Police statistics show.

Ironically, Perosi died the day after Ocean County Prosecutor Joseph Coronato announced the county’s traffic safety crackdown in Lakewood, which was prompted by a spike in traffic fatalities in the township this year; 13 people have died, including Perosi, according to New Jersey State Police.

In any other profession, this kind of death toll would necessitate shutting down a facility. But for sociopathic traffic engineers, this is business as usual.

 

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