I earlier had linked to this post by a fellow PCAer Michael Bates over in Tulsa.
The story involves a college student who during games wears a mascot costume was struck and killed by a car along one of those busy multilane roads which also feature bustling hotels, restaurants and gas stations. He was probably walking to buy something to eat; since the team had arrived by bus, no one had a car.
As Michael says:
Even though a narrow strip of trees separates the hotel parking lot from a two lane city street (Jones Road), there is no access between that street and the hotel. The only pedestrian or vehicular access to the hotel property is via the westbound lanes of Highway 4. Even If he had made it to Jones Road, he’d have had to walk at least half a mile to find a place for a Coke and something cheap to eat.
There was no place to walk, except along the busy highway. Thus was Michael’s post titled, “Death by bad urban design.”
Here is the comment I left at Michael’s blog:
The big problem is that these kinds of roads are trying to be two opposing things at once: A business district and a thoroughfare.
This could be an example of interstate-itis: Since traffic there is so heavy, pedestrians would only get in the way of the flow. So traffic engineers simply design pedestrians out of the equation, for the same reason pedestrians are barred from interstate highways.
But too many people, myself included, still believe that if you can see a building, you should be able to walk to it. Traffic engineers must realize and try to anticipate pedestrian traffic.
Fort Wayne is similar in many areas. I’ll have to post on that, though, another day.