Pedestrian struck and killed downtown

Screen Shot 2014-01-08 at 6.55.10 AMA 48-year-old man was struck and killed in downtown Tuesday morning.

According to a Tucson Police Department release, the pedestrian was struck at the intersection of Granada Avenue and Congress Street at about 6:45 a.m.

A motorist driving a Dodge Ram was heading west on Congress Street when the driver struck the pedestrian.

According to the release the crash occurred in an area without a crosswalk and they have not issued a citation to the driver.

The fatality is the first for 2014.

5 comments
EdBeighe
EdBeighe

does anybody know what the story is? these two statements: "the pedestrian was struck at the intersection" and "the crash occurred in an area without a crosswalk"  are incompatible.... one guesses the police's release meant the ped was struck near the intersection; is that it?

Orvis
Orvis

To append, and the irony in this particular intersection set is the conflict is between pedestrians who mere minutes ago were the car drivers they will be in conflict with when they try to cross from the parking garage to the courthouse.  

Orvis
Orvis

Yes there are crosswalks at the intersection and signalised lights too.  That isn't where most of the conflict is.  It's mid block where pedestrians are trying to wade across the river of cars.  People are trying to get back and forth between the state parking garage and the federal courthouse.  The roadway is widening towards the interstate and narrowing towards downtown.  Drivers are trying to get into the correct lane for freeway access and traffic is not leisurely in pace here.  In an urban environment 40-60% of the space is devoted to service of the automobile.  The conflict in this system is inherent.  I'm not sure if it's Carte Blanche but the net effect of the speed, size, weight and preponderance of automobiles plus the disproportionate allocation of space to cars certainly creates an environment where one mode in essence controls the lion's share of the space.  


Christine makes a valid point regarding the speed of automobiles and the likelihood of fatalities rising with the impact speed in the pedestrian automobile collision.  An unlikely source for the information, AAA.


https://www.aaafoundation.org/sites/default/files/2011PedestrianRiskVsSpeed.pdf


This one excerpt is a pretty good summary of their findings.  


"The median impact speed was 12 mph for all crashes in the sample and 35 mph for crashes in which the pedestrian was killed. The proportion of pedestrians  who  were  severely  injured  or  killed  increased  as  impact  speed  increased  across  all categories  of  impact  speed  examined."


For me the bottom line is we have ceded up to 60% of our environment to the service of cars.  The collateral damage of pedestrian deaths is built into this equation.  Human beings evolved walking.  When people cut across roadways they are taking a risk but they're also engaging in a fundamentally human activity, walking.  That we see reported whether or not the victims of these car/ped collisions were in crosswalks is interesting to me.  The vast majority of pedestrian deaths occur in crosswalks which suggests to me the problem isn't really so much about risk taking on the part of pedestrians but more about engineering decisions being made that favour one mode over another.  

christine
christine

The speed of traffic in this area is way too fast, as it is in almost every other area in Tucson. We regularly cycle and walk in other states (OR, WA, MN, WI, New England) and in Europe, experience much lower vehicle speeds as well as better ped/ cycling infrastructure and know that the ped and cyclist fatalities are far, far lower in those areas than in our area. We need major change in Tucson toward safety, and decreasing the speed of traffic is in my opinion the starting point.

zz
zz

@christine There are crosswalks at that intersection...how far away from one was he? Cars go fast sometimes. Pedestrians take chances sometimes. Would slower traffic embolden pedestrians to take more chances? Is any one user to be afforded carte blanche on the street? What practical infrastructure is there to eliminate the effects of a bad choice, especially when decent ones are present?