Trailnet Calls on City to Eliminate Pedestrian and Bicycle Fatalities
Death and injury in any form are unacceptable. Our city is often focused on violent crime, rightfully so. But this conversation ignores another major contributor to deaths and injuries – traffic violence.
From 2009-2012, 49 people were killed while walking or biking and 1,496 were injured. This is more than one person a day hit by a car while walking or biking in St. Louis City. Another fatal crash occurred on Friday, killing a bicyclist in full reflective gear. These traffic deaths are preventable and can be eliminated by prioritizing people on foot and bicycle, the most vulnerable users of the road.
Mayor Slay has made it a focus of his administration to make St. Louis more walkable and bikeable, but without a multi-sector action plan and strict enforcement of traffic violations this will not be accomplished.
The Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) has continually named St. Louis as a Pedestrian Focus City, because the rate of drivers hitting pedestrians is so high. Thirty-six percent of city traffic deaths are pedestrians.
The City of St. Louis must get serious about keeping residents safe and make a commitment to the people of this city. In order to achieve a walkable and bikeable city, eliminating injuries and deaths must be a measurable part of the City’s Sustainability Plan and include the Departments of Streets, Health, and Public Works.
There are two main ways to decrease traffic crashes: change the behavior of the people using the road, and change the physical engineering of the road.
At minimum, Trailnet urges the City to:
- Set a goal to eliminate pedestrian and bicycle fatalities (e.g. Zero fatalities by 2019)
- Increase enforcement of traffic violations that injure and kill people: speeding, running red lights, turning violations, and running stop signs
- Hire a Bicycle and Pedestrian Coordinator with the expertise to design and implement safer streets for people walking and biking
- Set a plan to:
- Begin utilizing FHWA recommended traffic calming measures such as high visibility crosswalks, speed bumps and roundabouts
- Update and adopt the Pedestrian Safety Action Plan
- Pass policies to create safer streets such as no texting while driving
Zero is the only acceptable number. If you live, work or play in the City of St. Louis, call Mayor Slay today at 314-622-3201 and ask him to set a timeline to eliminate pedestrian and bicycle fatalities.
Concerned cyclists will gather next Monday, June 30at 8 a.m. in front of City Hall at the Tucker Street entrance to ask for safer streets.
For more information contact firstname.lastname@example.org or 314-436-1324 x 125.