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Raleigh growth could be cause of increased pedestrian collisions

Posted January 9, 2012
Updated January 10, 2012

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— Collisions between pedestrians and vehicles in Raleigh were up significantly last year, according to statistics from the Raleigh Police Department.

From January to November, there were 182 reported cases – up from 152 during the same period in 2010.

Police and city planners say population growth could be one reason for the increase. That's why they are working on a new plan to make the city more pedestrian-friendly.

"There's more cars on the road than in the past. There's more people walking alongside the roads," Tomczak said. "We're trying to make Raleigh a place where walking can be done safely."

City planners are expected to bring the full "Comprehensive Pedestrian Plan" to the City Council for a vote in the next few months.

It includes many improvements such as more sidewalks, crosswalks, and changing out traffic signals from the old-fashioned red hand signal to ones with a 10-second countdown.

This part of the plan is already under way.

"Safe walking is just as important as safe driving," said Raleigh police Lt. Tim Tomczak, who teaches police officers how to investigate wrecks.

In many cases, he said, the pedestrians are at fault.

"More often than not, we see pedestrians stepping outside of crosswalks, not crossing at intersections, pedestrians impaired on alcohol or drugs. Or just being inattentive to what's going on."

The city has about 2,000 crosswalks at approximately 600 intersections where there are traffic lights.


This story is closed for comments.

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  • gphotohound2 Jan 10, 2012

    how about doing away with turn right on red in the city limits .

  • John Sawtooth Jan 10, 2012

    Downtown is VERY dangerous for traffic turning in behind a pedestrian in a crosswalk. Lots of drivers never look before diving through an occupied crosswalk. I'm not hyper paranoid, but literally dozens of my co-workers have been brushed or actually struck by turning traffic downtown.

    Thanks you courteous drivers, we notice and wave 'thanks !'

    I many places it's safer to jaywalk in mid-block so you have a long sight distance and can avoid traffic easily, instead of dodging a car that's already at your hip.

    My officemate was run down IN THE CROSSWALK with the "WALK" signal, because a woman decided to rush a right-on-red without checking the walkway was clear. He very nearly lost a leg in the accident.

    PLEASE look that one last time, especially in poor light or crowded conditions.

  • JustAName Jan 10, 2012

    "Maybe they should teach crosswalk during school."

    "Many crosswalks do not have lights and those that do give little time to get across." - haggis basher

    So, are you saying without the lights the children couldn't be taught to be more careful and move faster?

  • kikinc Jan 10, 2012

    Pseudonym-Actually, pedestrians don't always have the right of way in crosswalks. At a crosswalk, if there is a signal, and that signal says don't walk, the pedestrian doesn't have the right of way. Now, if there's no signal, the pedestrian is bound by the traffic lights. Red light means stay put. Pedestrians needs to be responsible as well. Everyone has a responsibility to pay attention to their surrounding, whether driving or walking.

  • lec0257 Jan 10, 2012

    Go downtown anytime during the day and see how many people crossing the street when they do not have the light or those people on bikes that ignor the traffic laws. Its stunning that more are not killed in Raleigh. People learn to read before crossing the street. Drivers, there is a speed limit downtown.

  • butterpie Jan 10, 2012

    Who has the right of way if a pedestrian is walking on the side of the road which doesn't have a sidewalk, facing traffic, on a quiet residential street?

  • determined2win Jan 10, 2012

    My take is that the increase in car-pedestrian collisions is due to people getting in front of cars...

  • Pseudonym Jan 10, 2012

    Quote from cphs2: "Where I come from, pedestrians have the right of way.... 9 OUT OF 10 PEOPLE ARE ON THE PHONE TALKING AND TEXTING. That shows it's dangerous to walk our streets."

    First of all, the ONLY place pedestrians have the right of way is in a CROSSWALK. PERIOD. EVERYWHERE.

    Second, let's not be melodramatic about cell phones, texting, and driving. 9 out of 10 drivers are talking and texting?? Really?? I'll admit it's a problem, but come on!

    Third, have some common sense about crossing the street. Most people weigh less than 300 lbs and you will NOT win against a 3500 lb car traveling even at 30 MPH. So leave the iPod at home when you go for a walk.

  • ezLikeSundayMorning Jan 10, 2012

    I agree that many of these are the pedestrians' fault, but it bugs me when they blame it on not using a crosswalk. Many times it's just safer to cross mid block where cars are just going one or two directions. Turning traffic just doesn't want to yeild to pedestrians, most of the time they don't think to watch for them. Crosswalks or intersections need to be rethought.

  • hedgy_one Jan 10, 2012

    I agree with jsok123. We all have to be more responsible for ourselves & our actions.