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  1. #1
    Patrick Guest

    Default OKC- Not Pedestrian Friendly

    Duh! Oklahoma City is one of the least pedestrian friendly cities in the nation. Hmmm.....makes sense, considering we don't have a clue what a side walk is in this town. Hmmm...and now the city is considering building a trail right across 6 lanes of traffic on NW Expressway. Interesting! What will they come up with next?

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    "Pedestrian safety study ranks Oklahoma City among the nation's most dangerous places


    By Chris Casteel
    Washington Bureau

    WASHINGTON - Look both ways when you cross the street in Oklahoma City. It's one of the most dangerous places to walk in America.
    That's according to a study released Thursday about the nation's "mean streets." Oklahoma City -- where 12 pedestrians were killed last year and 20 died in 2002 -- ranked as the 19th most dangerous metropolitan area for pedestrians, among the 50 largest in the country.

    The Surface Transportation Policy Project compiled the numbers, basing its danger index not just on the number of pedestrians killed per capita, but also by comparing the rates of people who walk to work.

    In the Oklahoma City metro aea, only 1.7 percent of the people walk to work; but 1.44 pedestrians were killed in the past two years for every 100,000 people in the area, which includes several towns. Ten percent of the Oklahoma City area's traffic deaths involved pedestrians. The state overall averaged 46 pedestrian deaths per year in 2002 and 2003.

    Florida had the four most dangerous cities on the list, and most of the worst areas were in the south and west. Of the top 50 metro areas, Boston was ranked as the safest, with Pittsburgh, Cleveland and New York right behind.

    Quick growth
    Paul Farmer, executive director of the American Planning Association, said post-World War II development led to quick suburban growth and has been followed by an emphasis on relieving traffic congestion. A lot of that development was "dumb growth," he said, which is being replaced in some areas now by "smart growth."

    Anne Canby, president of the Surface Transportation Policy Project, said some cities have made progress since the last report on pedestrian deaths -- Oklahoma City's ranking is the same as it was in 2002 -- but that in many areas, the streets are more unsafe. Fatalities nationwide are falling, she said, but she added it wasn't a reason to be overly optimistic; fewer people are walking.

    Seniors, children and minorities were found most at risk.

    Walking trails
    The Oklahoma City area ranked relatively high -- 12th -- among the top metropolitan areas in bicycle and pedestrian projects from 1998 to 2003.

    In Oklahoma City, a $1 million walking and biking trail connecting existing paths at Lake Hefner and Lake Overholser is under way, though the project has raised safety concerns about pedestrians who must cross the busy Northwest Expressway.

    Jerry Church, with the Association of Central Oklahoma Governments, which administers federal money earmarked for trail construction, said the funding has been popular with the local communities.

    Farmer said the transportation bill expected to be passed by Congress next year could provide more resources for trails and to ensure streets around schools are safe for walking. "

  2. Default Re: OKC- Not Pedestrian Friendly

    Part of the problem is that the drivers do not yield right of way to the people who use the crosswalks. Even if your light is green, and someone is in the crosswalk, you must stop for that person until they are safely away from your line of travel.

    I encourage every driver to spend a week in California driving. Forget the myths about traffic being "heavy." Just go there and drive around the cities. On the main streets, the freeways, and some side streets. After a day or two of driving like an Oklahoma Citian, you will get an education you will never forget. As a result, you will become a better and more polite driver.

    Personally, I LOVE driving in California. It is refreshing to see polite people on the streets... Unlike Oklahoma City.

    Of course, although it is largely the driver, the walker is at fault also. You know those tiny bridges with fences covering them across the freeway? They are not there for looks. USE THEM!

  3. #3

    Default Re: OKC- Not Pedestrian Friendly

    Insight Marketing was recently selected by the city of OKC to conduct market research for the Lake Hefner developments as well as the recreational and walking/bike trails. They had sub-contracted my group to conduct the research. The research has been since completed and the city will be using it in the very near future for models on future developments at other lakes as well as the city wide trail system and improving walking paths in the city. Although we may be behind in some areas regarding this matter, at least our city has realized this and is currently actively doing something to correct it. As far as crossing NW Expressway goes, its not like we cant construct an overpass or something of that nature, most cities do that and so does our southside. Now, if we can only do something about our drivers and getting them to yield to pedestrians and stay out of the far left PASSING (not sunday driving) lane

  4. Default Re: OKC- Not Pedestrian Friendly

    Quote Originally Posted by metro
    Insight Marketing was recently selected by the city of OKC to conduct market research for the Lake Hefner developments as well as the recreational and walking/bike trails. They had sub-contracted my group to conduct the research. The research has been since completed and the city will be using it in the very near future for models on future developments at other lakes as well as the city wide trail system and improving walking paths in the city. Although we may be behind in some areas regarding this matter, at least our city has realized this and is currently actively doing something to correct it. As far as crossing NW Expressway goes, its not like we cant construct an overpass or something of that nature, most cities do that and so does our southside. Now, if we can only do something about our drivers and getting them to yield to pedestrians and stay out of the far left PASSING (not sunday driving) lane
    That was part of my point. Of course, they should drive in the center lanes on a freeway until the exit before the one they want to use. The "right" lane is for entering and exiting a freeway. Personally, this is how I drive. I know most of the freeways so well, all I have to do is enter a certain lane and that is it until the I pass the exit before mine, then I get over to the right. It is called planning ahead and courtesy. I make exceptions for the ones who are toruists, however.

  5. #5
    Patrick Guest

    Default Re: OKC- Not Pedestrian Friendly

    I went ot Germany a few years ago....I found it interesting that in Germany you can be ticketed if you pass in the right lane, or stay in the far right lane for reasons other than exiting or entering the highway. Also, if you're driving in the left lane and are driving slow, if someone comes behind you and they flash their lights at you, you better move out of their way! Otherwise, they have every right to run you over, and it would be the fault of the person who wouldn't move over to yield to the faster vehicle. The person failing to move also can also be ticketed for "hogging" the passing lane!

    Of course, there aren't any speed limits on the Autobahn...in the left lane anyways.

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