WAMU 88.5 : Metro Connection

How Safe Is D.C. For Pedestrians?

Play associated audio
http://www.flickr.com/photos/joshkehn/6608902439/

Marlene Berlin spends a lot of time thinking about sidewalks. She's the pedestrian advocate for Iona Senior Services, and vice-chair of the D.C. Pedestrian Advisory Council.

"We live in an urban environment and sidewalks are a basic infrastructure for all modes of transportation," she says.

Berlin has studied "sidewalk gaps" in the District, and says filling these gaps should be a top priority for the city, particularly as more residents move into the city and the Baby Boom generation ages.

"As seniors age, their reaction times slow, so they often move to public transportation, and in order to access public transportation you need sidewalks," she says.

The public education campaign Street Smart says on average there are about 2,600 pedestrians and bicyclists injured on the road each year in our region. Earlier this year, Street Smart released new ads featuring people with tread marks on their faces and messages such as, "People don't come with air bags." Berlin says these public education campaigns are important, and need to be coupled with other strategies, such as working with the Department of Motor Vehicles to improve driver education.

"People do not know the law; there are certain assumptions made about jaywalking. Pedestrians have a lot of rights to cross the street in this city, and they're not given them," she says. "This city has been mostly built for automobile traffic and for getting commuters in and out, but a lot of people are moving into the city. We want to be able to traverse the city safely... so we all have a responsibility to make our street safer."


[Music: Pedestrian Safety: "Walk this Way" by David Garrett from Rock Symphonies]

NPR

'The End of the Tour' Offers A Hint Of David Foster Wallace's Inner Struggle

A new film revisits a five-day interview that took place between writer David Foster Wallace and a reporter for Rolling Stone in 1996. Critic David Edelstein calls it a "very good movie."
NPR

Coffee Art: When A Spill Turns Into A Masterpiece

Ever splashed yourself with coffee? Then you know its staining powers. But where some see a ruined shirt, others have found a canvas.
NPR

#TBT: 40 Years After Jimmy Hoffa's Disappearance, His Legend Lives On

Forty years ago today, Hoffa pulled into a restaurant parking lot and was never heard from again. His story is one of union devotion, fraud and fierce political battles.
NPR

Obama Orders Development Of Supercomputer To Rival China's 'Milky Way'

It is hoped that the new supercomputer, expected to go online by 2025, would be the first "exascale" machine — some 20 times faster than today's fastest machine, called Tianhe-2 (Milky Way-2).

Leave a Comment

Help keep the conversation civil. Please refer to our Terms of Use and Code of Conduct before posting your comments.