Friday, May 30, 2014

Speed Kills

In the rankings for 2011 street safety the California Office of Traffic Safety has bestowed Laguna Beach the distinction of most dangerous city - receiving the lowest score for pedestrian traffic safety in the rankings for 107 cities (first by size of city, third for miles driven). The previous rankings were measured for 98 cities in 2009 posted previously here.   

The NYPD  post their Mission Statement this way:

Move Traffic, Move Traffic, Move Traffic,
Reduce Accidents, Move Traffic,
Reduce injuries related to accidents, Move Traffic.
Reduce death related to accidents, Move Traffic!

Laguna Beach is trifurcated by two Caltrans highways, the South Coast Highway and Laguna Canyon Road. Although written differently the Caltrans mission is similar:  as a convenience to the motorist, move traffic.

The Journal for Urban Technology shows these sobering results from NYC accidents between pedestrians and automobiles. For accidents with automobiles traveling 40mph the collision with pedestrians is fatal in 85 out of 100 accidents.

This chart shows the stopping distance required for automobiles at three speeds, 20,30,35 miles per hour.  The stopping distance at 35mph is 250 feet. If a  standard intersection is 36 feet across a car moving 35mph requires the space for 7 full intersections to stop.

The charts show the solution to pedestrian fatalities involves little expense, no additional staff, no major infrastructure and works instantaneously. Simply slow-down motorist traffic. 95% of pedestrians survive collisions with 20mph vehicles.
LCAD Croswalk Posted Speed: 45mph
"Executive Order -  a Mayoral Stradegy for Traffic Safety", Transportation Alternatives, NYC, NY.

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