Love the streetcar (and non car based transportation modes in general)
Let the lying about ridership numbers begin. Ala the Sidewinders.
I had never heard of Matt Caron before, but I wish this whole article came with a "like" button. Not only was it vivid and well written, but now I want to check out that book on lizards of the Southwest.
I salute you Randy. Your epitaph to Mr. Caron was heartwarming, as is your passion for the all the "critters" that (unfortunately) have no voice. The fight for protection of Rosemont will not stop until the area is transformed into a regional park. In the memory of Matt, thank you for all your conservation efforts.
Except for the typo in the headline, this is a really nice tribute to Matt Caron and a reminder to us all that life is short and should be cherished.
Only the good die young.
Traffic laws (including those applicable to pedestrians and bikers) are created to make the other users' actions as predictable as possible. People not following those rules lead to a vast majority of collisions, I'm sure, Whether driving intoxicated, or while texting, or walking across the street at an inappropriate place, or bikers not following traffic laws.
Lots of people run across the middle of the street (not near corners), across one lane of traffic and then wait in the middle. Crazy. Try standing on the sidewalk and count the number of passing drivers using their cell phones. You'll find a high percentage, but that's really not news I'm sure.
I've found one of the highest offenders are bikers, in terms of the sheer percentage that break traffic laws. As I bike to work, I would estimate I see well more than 50% of bikers breaking traffic laws. Not stopping at stop signs, biking the wrong side of the road, carrying passengers, biking and texting (maybe that's not a law, just common sense)!
My favorite was on my bike, waiting to cross Ft. Lowell at Dodge, car on my right waiting to make a right turn, car on my left waiting to go straight, about 3 ft between me and the car on my left. Suddenly a biker flies by me, across Ft. Lowell. From his speed, I can't imagine he had even slowed down, fit between a space he could barely fit through, and straight through a red light across Ft. Lowell.
Not very predictable behavior, although with the frequency I see similar things happen (including cars and pedestrians), maybe it's totally predictable and should be expected that people are going to do stupid things on the road. Everyone, just be careful!
Good point skinnyman. Exactly, you have to be stone cold stupid to be hit by a train.
AZ Paul, there's one thing upon which we agree--you can't fix stupid. Thanks for proving my point.
I also have one question, is it the trains fault that hit that pedestrian the other day at Ruthrauff Rd. or should it have swerved to miss him? Like I said you cannot fix stupid.
My question is how often do cars drive up on the sidewalk and hit some one? Hardly ever, so with that in mind it must be the suicidal people jay walking that cause all these problems. I cannot count the many of times I see people standing in the turn lane trying to cross the street with pedestrian light a 100 yards up the road. So my take is on all this is, all the street lights all this whining and all the pedestrian lights in the world cannot fix stupid and as for making more bike lanes, other then the U of A area, which most of the money has been wasted on them, why should we pay for something that will only be used by 3 or 4 cyclists a day 6 months out of the year?
I was riding my bike east on pima street when I hear screeching breaks and gravel flying behind me. Apparently a guy in a truck almost hit me. It was broad daylight and I had on my flashing red light on the back of my bike. There was no bike lane, but I was traveling on the right side of the road as close to the side of the road as possible. I stopped, turned around to look and the guy who came close to mowing me down started cussing at ME! I had done absolutely nothing wrong. But he considered the whole incident to be my fault. Go figure!
The majority of what selfish drivers claim to be "jaywalking" is not really jaywalking or illegal behavior in any way. There is an implied crosswalk at every street corner, including alleys, and people have a legal right to cross, even at night. Is it risky? Sometimes, yes, but there obviously is no guarantee of safety at a major intersection or even at a fancy crossing light (which are few and far between, by the way).
But regardless, the bottom line is simple courtesy and basic responsibility--if you are the one operating the deadly weapon, and you see someone crossing the road or about to cross the road, you SLOW DOWN AND PAY ATTENTION. If you're in a high-pedestrian and/or high-bicycle traffic area, you SLOW DOWN AND PAY ATTENTION. Your desire to get where you're going a few seconds faster does not trump another person's right to life, no matter how risky their behavior may be. Since when is jaywalking a capital crime?
And many times victims are blamed for jaywalking, when in fact, as a previous poster observed, it is likely that BOTH people involved in the crash were not paying attention. But, of course, our society blames the person walking across the street and gives the driver operating the 5,000-pound death machine a free pass. This is just plain ass-backwards and morally indefensible. I refuse to believe that any more than a tiny percentage of pedestrian fatalities are truly unavoidable consequences of pedestrian behavior, and not the result of drivers not paying attention and not allowing sufficient margin for error based on present conditions (congestion, dark streets, bad weather, bar time, etc.).
The bottom line remains. Pedestrians and bicyclists never kill people in cars. People in cars do kill pedestrians and bicyclists, on a regular basis.
jonralston - can't disagree with anything you say here. cyclists who behave recklessly make so angry, as a cyclist, because they feed the anti-cycling vibe in among some motorists here. it's a real problem. as for pedestrians, i would say i've lived in other cities where there is similar behavior on a similar scale. the one thing in common is that the roads are huge, speedway-style arteries in largely suburban areas. often pedestrian crossing opportunities are somewhat limited, and the mix of that with big roads with cars going fairly fast is a bad one.
but as you acknowledge, ultimately the motorists have the greatest potential to do harm and thus can do the most to avoid harm, even if they are obeying laws. it's a pain, sure, but also just a reality.
I am a cyclist, pedestrian, and a motorist. While I agree with the gist of Mr. Serraglio's article, I feel he neglects the responsibility pedestrians and cyclists have in this matter. It has long been my observation that Tucson is the jaywalking capital of the world, and if it's not number 1 it's in the top 10. From people dressed in black jaywalking across Oracle at night, to people with children jaywalking across Grant or Speedway, to wheelchair bound amputees jaywalking across Silverbell using their one good leg to slowly scoot themselves across several lanes of traffic instead of pushing themselves with their hands, I grow frustrated as a motorist at having to essentially do a vulcan mind meld with every person I see or can't see on the road to try and avoid hitting them. In terms of cyclists, they need to obey traffic laws. Going up A Mountain as I frequently do, I can't tell you how many times cyclists speed down the hill and veer into oncoming traffic to avoid slowing down and going over speed bumps. I've narrowly avoided several collisions in this scenario. I agree that infrastructure needs to improve to allow for safe transportation for cyclists and pedestrians, and I agree motorists need to focus on the road, slow down, and put away their devices. My point is it's not simply always the motorist's fault. Many times it is and more of the responsibility falls on the motorist because the physics of the situation favors them. It's just us cyclists and pedestrians need to do our part as well in order to ensure safe travels.
Yes Bob, you seem like a reasonable, compassionate member of our society. So I will just say that some people don't appreciate casual threats or indifference to violence against cyclists. But I'm glad to know how important your cars paint job is to you in the overall scheme of things.
I get my car keyed, you get a funeral. Well done.
lots of comments about what pedestrians/bikers can do. good advice, mostly. but seems like the onus is on drivers, as they are the ones behind 1-2 ton mobile, metal machines. and so help me god, Yes Bob, i'm hoping some cyclist keys the shit out of your car, because, you know, you have it coming to you.
it is infuriating to pass all blame to to victims. shameful. you are driving, you see a drunken pedestrian crossing illegally, fine, yes, that person fucked up. YOU, driver, are responsible for being aware of your surroundings and not hitting that person.
It would help if walkers did not dress like pavement.
The leap of faith a walker takes by crossing without watching all lanes of traffic stop first and without looking over their shoulder for the turning traffic makes today or tomorrow a good day to die.
If you wait to cross with your toes hanging over the curb, you're precisely why natural selection will choose you for death.
As for the bikers, they have it coming to them.
Far from disdain about the HAWK lights, I hold the pedestrians who refuse to USE the crossings in spite of their presence as being a BIG part of the problem. I stop when required at each red light and each HAWK light (listen to my wife..) and as I wait for the light to clear, watch countless cars blow through. Why? I suppose it was the pedestrian who hit the button and walked out into traffic before the HAWK light came on...it is frustrating to wait for a person to cross, when nobody is there. I wait until the flashing reds come on.. Others do not.
As for the "victims"...many, if not MOST of the pedestrian accidents in this area are self-inflicted. Quite often, one or another party is drunk. As others have noted, pull out the ear buds, put the smartphone away while dumbwalking, and try PAYING ATTENTION. On foot or on wheels!
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