Greater City Providence

The New York Times: When Pedestrians Get Mixed Signals

“We’re heavily enforcing pedestrian violations because they’re impeding traffic and causing too many accidents and deaths,” said Lt. Lydia Leos of the Los Angeles Police Department.

Thus a familiar pattern reasserts itself: The best way to reduce pedestrian deaths is to issue tickets to pedestrians. A similar dynamic can be seen in recent weeks after a spate of pedestrian deaths in New York City, where Mayor Bill de Blasio has endorsed more aggressive enforcement by the New York Police Department against jaywalkers.

If tough love will not make pedestrians safer, what will? The answer is: better walking infrastructure, slower car speeds and more pedestrians. But it’s easier to write off the problem as one of jaywalkers.

Jef Nickerson

Jef is Greater City Providence's co-founder, editor, and publisher. He grew up on Cape Cod and lived in Boston; Portland, Maine; and New York before settling in Providence. In addition to urbanism, Jef is interested in art, design, and ice cream. Please feel free to contact Jef if you have any question or comments about Greater City Providence.

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