Saturday, October 28, 2017

Still Life with Robin: How to Get People to Pay More Attention While Walking, Cycling or Driving

Mount Vernon Bike Trail
by Peggy Robin

The main discussion thread on the CP Listserv this past week has been all about the conflict between bicyclists and pedestrians. What started on Tuesday with an account of a near-collision between a dog-walker and an inattentive bicyclist at an intersection has turned into a 44-message-long thread with a lot of heat on both sides. And it's still going strong!

A number of posters have proposed ways to increase safety, including suggestions for creating greater separation between bicyclists and pedestrians, uriging cyclists to call attention to themselves through use of bells or warnings (“on your left!”), or seeking better police enforcement of safety laws. This is all well and good….but not terribly creative. It might be worth taking a look at some of the more innovative, even startling proposals, that might be applied to the problem. 

Here’s one: Set up a “laser wall” to protect pedestrians in the crosswalk. Looks like the concept has been developed but not actually implemented anywhere….but it sure looks like it would grab people’s attention!

No bike lanes? You can create your own with laser lights as you ride along:

The thing I like best is what they’ve done with a relatively simle paint job on the street at this intersection:  
And you can see from the video that pedestrians, bicyclists, and drivers are really taking notice!

Want to see it in real life? You'll need to go to the village of Ísafjörður in the northwest of Iceland -- population 2,559.

Still Life with Robin is published on the Cleveland Park Listserv and on All Life Is Local on Saturdays.

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