Pedestrian Safety and Infrastructure Improvements

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RailBaronYarr
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Pedestrian Safety and Infrastructure Improvements

Postby RailBaronYarr » March 25th, 2014, 8:43 am

Eric Roper did a great job putting this whole thing together: http://www.startribune.com/local/blogs/252229291.html

Great to have this kind of data by intersection similar to the bicycle incident report. I'm curious how many incidents that labeled pedestrians at fault (crossing against signal, crossing into traffic, etc) were mis-reported since the only person available for comment was the motorist (anecdotal story of this happening in another metro: http://greatergreaterwashington.org/pos ... e-a-biker/ )? Of course, I'm not saying this happens all the time, and certainly the largest contributing pre-crash auto maneuver was failure to yield right of way (with inattentive/distracted driving at #3, disregarding traffic control device at #8), so it's not like there isn't enough evidence of poor driving. I'm just interested in the second most common auto-based contributing factor, "No Clear Factor." Was it just poor street design that induced speeding, lowering reaction times to pedestrians appearing from behind parked cars or kids playing in the street? Was it really a driver's failure to yield but they got their story in with the police while the pedestrian was en route to the hospital?

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Re: Road Crime

Postby PhilmerPhil » March 25th, 2014, 10:06 am

I was surprised that these hotspots weren't more prominent on that map. Also, I'd be interested in seeing a similar map with crash rates (rather than crash totals).

sad panda
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Re: Road Crime

Postby sad panda » March 25th, 2014, 12:06 pm

The underlying data is rather interesting. I'll have to poke around it more tonight. For now though, some snippets:
RailBaronYarr wrote:I'm just interested in the second most common auto-based contributing factor, "No Clear Factor." Was it just poor street design that induced speeding, lowering reaction times to pedestrians appearing from behind parked cars or kids playing in the street?
From scratching the surface, 3 of the incidents were actually children playing in the street. In 51 cases pedestrians were listed as crossing against traffic signals (of those, 3 peds were impaired, 3 failed to yield and 11 list as disregarded traffic control device). 88 Pedestrian crossing into traffic, 25 pedestrian crossing improper, 18 pedestrian emerging behind parked car, and then various amounts of standing/lying in the street, running/walking in the street, crossing with signals, crossing in marked crosswalk, crossing without signals/crosswalk. The vast majority of 'No Clear Factor' have the auto's following the roadway, not turning or backing (almost all of the 'Failure to Yeild' auto's were making turns). When I have more time I plan on mapping out just the 'no clear factors' to try and look at the street designs and directions of travel. And to dig in a bit more to see if some are mislabeled in that regard.

Just a couple random bits that I find interesting:
227 accidents are listed as hit-and-runs
69 of the pedestrians involved had been drinking or were under the influence (compared to 25 drivers although a lot more drivers were listed as 'unknown')
1 of the accidents in the data set is a bike hitting and injuring a pedestrian (and it lists both as failing to yield?)
5 Police cars, 1 Ambulance, 14 taxis and 13 buses hit pedestrians in the data set
92 accidents did not cause injury (~10%) and 25 accidents caused 2 or more pedestrian injuries

I can't wait to look at this in real detail.

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Re: Road Crime

Postby gpete » March 25th, 2014, 12:27 pm

When it says "crossing against traffic signals," does that mean crossing when you have a red light, or does it also include crossing when there is a green light with a steady "don't walk" signal? I'm just curious given the number of intersections where Hennepin County and Minneapolis have installed signals that only give the "walk" sign when prompted by a beg button.

I often cross the street at these types of intersections, and I always wonder how the liability would shake out if I were seriously injured while crossing with a green light with a steady "don't walk" sign.

According to state law (Minn Stat. 169.06), it is against the law to cross the street when there is a "don't walk" sign, even if the light is green for cars.
Subd. 6.Pedestrian control signal. (a) Whenever special pedestrian-control signals exhibiting the words "Walk" or "Don't Walk" or symbols of a "walking person" or "upraised hand" are in place, the signals or symbols indicate as follows:
(1) A steady "Walk" signal or the symbol of a "walking person" indicates that a pedestrian facing either of these signals may proceed across the roadway in the direction of the signal, possibly in conflict with turning vehicles. Every driver of a vehicle shall yield the right-of-way to such pedestrian except that the pedestrian shall yield the right-of-way to vehicles lawfully within the intersection at the time that either signal indication is first shown.
(2) A "Don't Walk" signal or the symbol of an "upraised hand," flashing or steady, indicates that a pedestrian shall not start to cross the roadway in the direction of either signal, but any pedestrian who has partially crossed on the "Walk" or "walking person" signal indication shall proceed to a sidewalk or safety island while the signal is showing.
(b) A pedestrian crossing a roadway in conformity with this section is lawfully within the intersection and, when in a crosswalk, is lawfully within the crosswalk.

mattaudio
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Re: Road Crime

Postby mattaudio » March 25th, 2014, 12:33 pm

Technically, it's still legal to finish crossing as long as it started during a green walk. So my gut says ambiguity, through lens of law, would defer to the pedestrian (assuming the car turned through the ped ROW)

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woofner
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Re: Road Crime

Postby woofner » March 25th, 2014, 1:12 pm

Tragic that there was an opportunity to address the problems for pedestrians at the worst intersection, Franklin/Nicollet, when it was rebuilt just 15 years ago, and they chose not to. Although it's obvious to anyone who walks down Nicollet in Whittier that pedestrians were the lowest priority of that design.

Bump-outs, bus bulbs, crossing refuges, and zebra stripings could all have been included at Franklin/Nicollet and also at the next 3 worse intersections in recent rebuilds. Only Cedar/Riverside was rebuilt decently. Instead Public Works (both Mpls and Henn Cty) built wide turning radii and patted themselves on the back for building complete streets.

Kudos to the Eric Roper and the Strib for doing Public Works' job for them.
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gpete
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Re: Road Crime

Postby gpete » March 25th, 2014, 1:28 pm

mattaudio wrote:Technically, it's still legal to finish crossing as long as it started during a green walk. So my gut says ambiguity, through lens of law, would defer to the pedestrian (assuming the car turned through the ped ROW)
I'm talking about situations where the light turns green, but the pedestrian signal doesn't switch to "walk." Haven't you encountered those? Maybe there's a beg button that you didn't press in time, or it's just an old traffic signal that sometimes doesn't give a "walk" signal.

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Re: Pedestrian Safety and Infrastructure Improvements

Postby twincitizen » March 25th, 2014, 1:51 pm

I was shocked to see there were already 40 comments on the Strib piece. That's really high for anything on Roper's MPLS blog, especially for something that's only been up for a couple hours and isn't about development.

I clicked on the comments to find that almost half of them were from people who thought it was going to be a story about crime in Minneapolis and were complaining about the "Most Dangerous Places..." headline being misleading. A bunch of wingers got all frothy at the mouth and had their racist comments all typed up with no where to go. Sad and terrifying.
I would like to know what the most dangerous places are to walk because of violence, not traffic! That should be what this story is about.
People are more concerned about hazardous crime areas are. It's pretty easy to avoid being hit by cars.
I was expecting some stats on the likelihood of being a victim of street crime, which would be more important to me: I can look both ways before crossing the street and wait until it's safe (or at least, safer), but it's harder to dodge a bullet or a mugger.
does this factor in getting shot or other non traffic related violence?
How about a graphic showing where the crimes occur? I can avoid a car, in most instances. I can't avoid crime if I don't know it's coming.

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Re: Pedestrian Safety and Infrastructure Improvements

Postby MNdible » March 25th, 2014, 2:36 pm

I guess this shouldn't be a surprise, but doesn't this look effectively the same as a map of intersections where there are the most cars and pedestrians? It would be nice to figure out a way to determine which areas are per capita the most dangerous.

Also, all of this is pretty small sample size stuff, so I'm not sure with how much confidence we can say one area is 20% more dangerous than the next one because six people were hit instead of 5.

Looking at the list of worst offenders, the top two are intersections I travel regularly, and these are spots where I often see pedestrians making poor decisions.

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Re: Pedestrian Safety and Infrastructure Improvements

Postby talindsay » March 25th, 2014, 2:42 pm

Yes, I was also going to comment that they're reporting the statistics wrong. Surprise surprise, busy intersections have a higher absolute number of accidents. They need to find a way to filter out the outliers - busy intersections that had more accidents than similar intersections, busy intersections that had substantially fewer accidents than similar intersections, and low-usage intersections that nonetheless had a significant number of accidents. And no matter what the traffic patterns, one accident for any number of cars or pedestrians is not a meaningful data point.

mattaudio
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Re: Pedestrian Safety and Infrastructure Improvements

Postby mattaudio » March 25th, 2014, 3:26 pm

While I agree that it is useful to find corners that have a higher rate of collisions in order to figure out how not to design our streets, ultimately it's useful to find the absolute number of collisions to figure out where our scarce resources should be directed. I still find the map useful for figuring out where to focus our efforts. Not as useful to figure out how we should be designing our streets.

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woofner
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Re: Pedestrian Safety and Infrastructure Improvements

Postby woofner » March 25th, 2014, 3:42 pm

MNdible wrote:I guess this shouldn't be a surprise, but doesn't this look effectively the same as a map of intersections where there are the most cars and pedestrians? It would be nice to figure out a way to determine which areas are per capita the most dangerous.
No, that map is here: http://www.minneapolismn.gov/www/groups ... 085485.pdf
Visually, the areas with the biggest mix of cars & peds are the U of M & Downtown, yet those areas account for less than half of the 10 worst intersections for peds. Lake, Franklin, Lyndale, Cedar, Penn & West Broadway all appear to be overrepresented in crashes compared with their level of pedestrian traffic.

I agree that better stats should be collected, but it would be more effective to simply look at what data there is and take it into account when designing streets.
MNdible wrote:Looking at the list of worst offenders, the top two are intersections I travel regularly, and these are spots where I often see pedestrians making poor decisions.
I'm sorry your eyes are insulted by the bad decisions of others, but that's simply irrelevant when confronted with the data showing that most peds are hit while they have the ROW. Or are you saying that their presence was the poor decision? I may agree with you there.
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Re: Pedestrian Safety and Infrastructure Improvements

Postby MNdible » March 25th, 2014, 4:07 pm

From the article:

The most problematic intersection was Nicollet and Franklin Avenues, where 11 pedestrians have been injured in three years. Many of these were caused by pedestrians crossing into traffic.

I'm sure we could pull up some statistics that would show that people making bad decisions are more likely to get winged by a car. There are areas where pedestrians do this more often than other areas, whether for cultural or design reasons, so I think it's quite relevant.

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Re: Pedestrian Safety and Infrastructure Improvements

Postby mattaudio » March 25th, 2014, 5:46 pm

Well the actual statistics are that over 60% of people who get "winged" by a car (winged/injured or winged/dead) are doing so with the right of way.

So statistically the bad decision is to walk on the green walk in a crosswalk. Or the bad decision is to not be in a car. Take your pick.

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Anondson
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Re: Pedestrian Safety and Infrastructure Improvements

Postby Anondson » April 3rd, 2014, 9:56 pm

Starting Monday, France Ave improvements from 66th to 76th, construction closing lanes until October. $4 mil worth of improvements for pedestrian safety.

http://www.startribune.com/local/west/253845981.html

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Re: Pedestrian Safety and Infrastructure Improvements

Postby seanrichardryan » April 3rd, 2014, 11:54 pm

The west side wants to pedestrian friendly, but the east side of France won't let it.
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Anondson
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Pedestrian Safety and Infrastructure Improvements

Postby Anondson » April 4th, 2014, 7:32 am

Maybe someday they'll make France Ave north of 62 safer for peds too. At least France there is only two lanes.

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Re: Pedestrian Safety and Infrastructure Improvements

Postby Mdcastle » April 4th, 2014, 5:33 pm

At first I was opposed to this project, but now I kind of am neutral. I'm thinking taking out the free right might lead to backups for right turning traffic, especially at 66th, but I realized on the other hand since they have to rebuild traffic signals from the ground up that means flashing yellow arrows are likely, something that might not happen for many years if there was no rebuilding.

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Re: Pedestrian Safety and Infrastructure Improvements

Postby web » April 4th, 2014, 8:32 pm

up until 15 yrs ago or so there wasnt even a sidewalk between 54 and 62 on france ave. maybe 20 yrs ago and it was 4 lanes too.
They then put a continuous sidewalk on the west side

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Re: Pedestrian Safety and Infrastructure Improvements

Postby Tcmetro » April 4th, 2014, 10:32 pm

I'm in support of this France Ave project. At first they were trying to make France more similar to Killebrew Dr by placing pedestrian bridges; however, the TAB wouldn't allow such a radical change in project scope and the funds didn't allow it. The new project will get rid of some of the free rights, add new sidewalks, and help improve the pedestrian experience.

I poked around on the Edina project website and they are planning to add quite a bit of sidewalk throughout the city. It's good to see some of our suburban municipalities take action on small-scale projects like these.


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