Thursday, May 26, 2011

WTNH: Pedestrians Not Safe in New Haven, Especially at "Notorious" Whitney and Audubon Street Crosswalk

A new report by WTNH, New Haven's local television station, responds to the recent T4America "Dangerous by Design" report that chronicles the nation's severe pedestrian safety issues.

To illustrate, WTNH focuses on pedestrian safety at the notorious intersection of Whitney and Audubon, across from Yale University. The New Haven Independent has recently focused significant coverage on this intersection: Check it out here and here. Residents in the area have recently taken it upon themselves to fill out a Complete Streets Request form, in order to request improvements to the area.

Click here to see the video and article.

An excerpt from WTNH:

NEW HAVEN, CONN. (WTNH) - A new study says Connecticut is not a safe state for pedestrians. The Hartford metropolitan area is the most dangerous in the state, the second most dangerous in all of New England. Hartford is the worst, New Haven is a close second.

Whitney Avenue at Audubon Street is notorious for being unsafe for pedestrians. The problem is that you have to walk a full two blocks before you get to a crosswalk.

Earlier this month anonymous advocates painted a makeshift crosswalk of their own. The city quickly washed it away saying, it's not safe. There's a slight hill making it difficult for drivers to see people in the road. But it's hard to find anyone who doesn't cross in the middle of the street.

"It seems quiet but once you step out, here goes the cars, and there's no crosswalk here and it's dangerous," says Melissa Doumbia of New Haven. Doumbia's daughter attends classes on Audubon, she makes her walk the other way. "Oh, yeah, absolutely, I actually have her meet me down at the other end most of the time," says Doumbia.

With delivery trucks often parked in the area, visibility isn't the best for drivers and pedestrians. "People drive crazy here, everyone's rushing, there's a lot of students, there's bikes, a lot of bikes," says Francesca Colasanto of Branford.

A new study by Transportation for America is trying to highlight the problem. Over the last ten years, 373 pedestrians were killed in Connecticut. Pedestrians have only a 15 percent chance of survival when hit by a car going 40 miles an hour... According to the study, a full 12.5 percent of traffic deaths involved pedestrians.

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