WPRI reports that City Councilman Michael J. Correia (Ward 6) was struck by a hit and run driver around 6pm last night n Atwells Avenue. Happily, this morning the Councilman is out of the hospital and on the mend.
Correia was thrown 10 feet from his car and knocked out by the blow from the vehicle, which was described as a dark-colored Ford Escape SUV, according to Correia’s family members and Providence Acting Police Chief Hugh Clements Jr.
“I’m very lucky,” Correia told WPRI.com. He was treated at Rhode Island Hospital and then released, and is now resting at home with his family. He said he has brusies on his side and his arm.
Of course you probably recall that Councilman Hassett was struck and very nearly killed by a hit and run driver on Atwells Avenue a year ago, and many other people have been struck, some killed in recent years. We discussed some ideas for fixing the Avenue after Councilman Hassett was struck.
Councilman Hassett was struck on the Federal Hill section of Atwells Avenue, Councilman Correia was struck further west in the Olneyville section. WPRI describes the location as the 800 block, which would place it near the intersection with Academy Avenue.
So what’s the take away here? Our streets are dangerous. We should probably do something about it before we have to hold all of our City Council meetings in the hospital.
The following statement was released this morning by Councilman Correia:
I’d like to thank everyone for their concerns at this time. I am very fortunate to have sustained no major injuries, but I do have the expected bumps and bruises. I am now home resting with my family and plan to be back serving the people of Ward 6 and the City of Providence very shortly.
Looking at your prior post, I suspect they’ll do bump outs now. The objective is to slow traffic.
This is now the second city councilor struck on Atwells, this time he was trying to get into his car and thrown ten feet! That means someone was moving at a good clip when they hit him.
Of course were it up to me I’d employ rather draconian means to protect pedestrians, like perhaps arm all of us with caltrops. Tires aren’t cheap and if you use military grade caltrops, they are going to be replacing one or more tires at about $100 a pop.
Neck downs (or bump outs) and speed bumps might not be enough to reduce these incidents. This is more than just bad driving. Auto-centric culture is now so intrenched in the psyche of the city that many aggressive drivers believe that their ownership of a car is a divine right. When they operate a vehicle, they must believe that they are more important than anyone else who’s not in one.
We’ve been through this before with suggestions such as: 20 is Plenty, speed bumps, neck downs, no right turns on red, install rough street surfaces, create bikes lanes, and reduce lane widths. What else?
How many more people have to be injured or killed to change this culture?
How about some good old enforcement of traffic laws? Set up speed traps in the city. Have cops watch stop signs. Use more unmarked cars to accomplish this.
I drive a lot. I rarely walk, bike, or take the bus. I am very careful about my driving and my speed. I see a lot of bad drivers, inconsiderate drivers, and people just breaking the law because they know they can get away with it.
We can do anything we want to “calm” traffic, but it’s not going to alleviate the issue when people get away with breaking the law. People drive as fast as they can between speed humps. They fly down narrow two way streets when there are cars parked on both sides. Traffic doesn’t calm. People will still break the law. It needs to be enforced in order for it to stop. How many injuries and deaths do we need from traffic accidents?
The problem isn’t only in RI either. A friend of mine was crossing a street in Cambridge and hit by a car.
I surely agree that more frequent enforcement of traffic laws is a key step. I would add that consideration could also be given to tightening drunk driving laws and enhancing penalties when a careless driver or a driver breaking a traffic law actually kills or injures someone as a result. I would hope “complete streets” advocates would give these deas some consideration.