|New Bike Rack at Salem Ale Works|
(Photo: Salem Ale Works)
|Salem Ale Works off 25th and Electric|
Now with bike racks!
It was also nice to see a piece today on the summer crosswalk enforcement activities, but the tone still tilts to view people on foot as the interlopers in the street, which more naturally belongs to people in cars.
The lead image on the front page is not of a car and driver threatening a person on foot or violating a crosswalk, but of a person on foot violating carspace "against the light."
Come on, are we really gonna go down this path where we ask people on foot to be walking traffic cones, as if they were hazards drivers have to avoid? Where they have "to try" to cross rather than enjoy the expectation they can and deserve to cross? There's a weird switching where there's too much pseudo-Darwinianism here with cars as the apex predator and humans on foot the wary prey and urban deer who need to stay out of the way - and a concurrent sense that drivers are the vulnerable party, that pedestrians are killing people in cars.
The way we talk about road safety right now is incoherent.
And there's that tone of false equivalence:
When talk about traffic turns to cars versus walkers, pedestrians insist that motorists never stop for them in crosswalks. An almost equal number of drivers counter that pedestrians are flagrantly ignoring their crosswalk responsibilities.Anarchy!
The resulting roadway anarchy can lead to injuries and impassable intersections, so the Salem Police Department Traffic Control Unit has been trying to teach both drivers and walkers their legal duties, and recent numbers suggest that they might be making inroads —no pun intended.
For the past five years, the traffic control unit, which works two shifts with seven members on motorcycle Mondays through Fridays, has been citing more drivers for failing to yield to pedestrians than vice versa.
But the big news is that it's not by much.
The unit has been issuing an almost equal number of tickets to pedestrians for failing to obey traffic-control devices and failing to yield to a vehicle.
Cars, speeds, and over-engineered roads are the problem, not people on foot. The roads are for all users, including people on foot, and there was an opportunity here for a forceful statement that cars are dangerous and drivers must stop for people in crosswalks.
If an activity is dangerous, we should do less of it. If we are serious about traffic safety, the best thing to do is to drive less and to make it easy for others to choose to drive less.