CrimeNews

Eugene leads state in pedestrian fatalities, study shows



Eugene and Springfield streets are more dangerous for pedestrians than anywhere else in Oregon, according to a report released by Transportation for America, a national transportation advocacy group.

The report, titled “Dangerous by Design,” documented 63 pedestrian fatalities in the Eugene-Springfield metropolitan area between 2000 and 2009, many of which occurred near downtown, where Highways 99 and 126 run along surface streets.

“At least one-third of people cannot or choose not to drive, and for most of them, walking is a fundamental mode of transportation. This is especially true for our children. By compromising pedestrian safety, we are putting far too many people at risk each day,” said Laurie Trieger of the Lane Coalition for Healthy and Active Youth[email protected]@http://lchay.org/home/board-and-staff/@@

The City of Springfield, along with the Oregon Department of Transportation and Lane Transit District, is currently performing a similar study of a stretch of Highway 126 in Springfield.

The University has taken steps to maximize pedestrian safety for students and others on campus. Christopher Ramey, associate vice president for campus planning, described recent efforts to improve pedestrian safety, such as recently installed flashing crosswalk signs. The goal is to keep pedestrians and cars out of each other’s [email protected]@http://directory.uoregon.edu/telecom/directory.jsp?p=findpeople%2Ffind_results&m=staff&d=person&b=name&[email protected]@

Such devices are designed, Ramey said, “to be sure each mode of travel knows where they’re supposed to be.”

Even with enhanced controls, Ramey said that the almost completely uncontrolled intersection of East 13th Avenue and Kincaid Street is statistically one of the safer intersections on campus.

“The reason it works is that all participants are aware of the situation,” Ramey said. “The chaos itself breeds safety.”

This seems to correlate with a study conducted in Drachten in The Netherlands, where traffic controls at a major intersection in the city center were removed. The study showed an 86 percent reduction in traffic accidents from the four years before the change to the two years [email protected]@http://www.timesonline.co.uk/tol/news/[email protected]@ @@http://www.fietsberaad.nl/library/repository/bestanden/Evaluation%20Laweiplein.pdf@@


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