I think the improved signals could only help. As a downtown pedestrian I have
had several close calls and have actually been brushed by a car. My daughter and
dog were hit together in a cross walk a few years ago and about the same time a
neighbor was hit in a crosswalk while crossing with a group of her friends - all
in the middle of the day. I was 10 feet from a woman who was hit by a taxi in DC
- the sound of the crash and the sight of her sliding off the hood of the car
still haunt me. I was the first to reach her - she had obviously broken legs and
severe head injuries - I'm sure she didn't survive. I believe drivers
are looking principally at the traffic signals and other cars and don't see
pedestrians. Sometimes drivers will cut it too close when making a left turn and
find themselves in a tight spot, choosing to drive into the crosswalk rather
than risk being hit by oncoming traffic. Drivers and pedestrians just need to be
more careful and I think these awful events could be significantly reduced.
I live in downtown SLC and often walk to City Creek, ESA, Gateway, etc...
I've almost been hit several times in crosswalks while I had a walk signal.
The majority of the intersections downtown will give you the go ahead to walk,
but then have a green light/arrow for a car to turn as well. Many of those
drivers just see the green and don't pay attention to the crosswalk and
turn into people. I'm not fully blaming drivers as I have seen plenty of
pedestrians cross when they don't have a walk signal or think they can make
it across with only 5 seconds left.
Jay walking and wearing dark clothes at night are significant contributing
factors in addition to road conditions, foliage that obscures vision and driver
inattention. A multi-faceted approach is needed to reduce motor-pedestrian