This seemingly normal nondescript intersection is the site of many near misses between cars and pedestrians

When pedestrians and cars collide there is much pain

An hour ago this normal everywhere intersection was full of police, fire and emergency vehicles. A few minutes before I had been in my house quietly writing a news article about a 500 mile electric car being developed in Denmark, when there was a thud outside followed by screams. When the screams continued for longer than twenty seconds I went out to find an emergency underway.  Apparently some parents were walking their kids in a stroller, and the stroller was hit by a car.  Within two minutes I was calling 911, only to learn they already knew and help was on its way.

It’s an intersection I frequently walk through and I know it’s dangers well. Often I’m forced to scream at car drivers who seem unaware of the pedestrians. The only way to get their attention is to yell loud enough to be heard inside the bubble of their car.

These incidents occur every day across the country. It is so common that it’s barely reported anywhere, except for those rare times when something in the story leaps out to grab the spotlight.  This time highly unlikely to capture the attention of the press, because it appeared the family involved were poor latino’s. They have two strikes against them, their ethnic heritage, and that they’re pedestrians.

It seems that pedestrian or bicyclist fatalities get less press coverage than would a shooting murder in the ghetto. (which, by the way, goes largely unreported)

When violence against someone of color goes unreported, the politically correct response is to call it Racial Blindness.

What is the politically correct way to describe the under-reporting of pedestrian and bicyclist deaths???

There is an ongoing carnage of bicyclists and pedestrians. The cause is rooted in the fact that most streets in America were designed for the convenience of car drivers, and are downright dangerous to pedestrians and bicyclists. This particular intersection is even a designated bicycle corridor, but there is little in its design to protect bicyclists and pedestrians.

The dangers to pedestrian and bicycle travel are, I’m sure, a factor in the low rate of such travel. The obvious question would be, if it’s dangerous then why walk or ride a bike?

This results in more people believing cars are the only way to travel. That results in more car miles driven, more roads must be built to accommodate the cars, and more global warming fossil fuels are burnt as a result.

By the way, the WalkScore for this neighborhood is a low 65.

Before the police left they did say the kids seemed okay.  I’d heard from someone who witnessed the collision that the kids went flying from the impact. I’m unsure they did because I was there within a couple minutes and there was no sign of anybody being thrown around, however most of the people involved were screaming in fear and terror.

How much more of this must pedestrians and bicyclists take before we get together to make some change happen?

About David Herron

David Herron is a writer and software engineer living in Silicon Valley. He primarily writes about electric vehicles, clean energy systems, climate change, peak oil and related issues. When not writing he indulges in software projects and is sometimes employed as a software engineer. David has written for sites like PlugInCars and TorqueNews, and worked for companies like Sun Microsystems and Yahoo.

About David Herron

David Herron is a writer and software engineer living in Silicon Valley. He primarily writes about electric vehicles, clean energy systems, climate change, peak oil and related issues. When not writing he indulges in software projects and is sometimes employed as a software engineer. David has written for sites like PlugInCars and TorqueNews, and worked for companies like Sun Microsystems and Yahoo.

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