City Council To Consider Safe Streets Initiative
How safe are El Paso streets for pedestrians? According to El Paso Complete Streets Coalition, Sun City ranks among the 20 WORST regarding pedestrian safety.
In the most recent study by Smart Growth America, El Paso ranks as the 18th deadliest metro area for folks walking. The two spots are up from the previous year’s findings.
On Tuesday, July 19th, El Paso City Council will consider a Complete Streets proposal that would seek to increase walkability and make streets safer for pedestrians, bicyclists, and joggers.
Do you know those “bicycle lanes” we have in El Paso? They’re also known as “just the regular lane for cars but with a faded image of a bike on the pavement”. Yeah, those aren’t really cutting it.
Sure, there’s something there that SAYS it’s a bike lane. Unfortunately, a lot of El Paso drivers don’t ever see that because they’re not even looking at the road. They’re looking at their cell phones.
You’re really taking your life into your own hands if you want to ride a bike on a street in El Paso. Obviously, WALKING is even more dangerous. What are some of the proposals that Complete Streets recommend?
More sidewalks. Pedestrian fatality accidents are 88% LESS likely to happen in areas where there is an available sidewalk.
More medians. 39% fewer pedestrian fatalities where there are median.
Hybrid Beacons. I don’t know what those are. BUT, they result in 69% fewer fatalities so, I’m pro-hybrid beacons I guess.
Some other factors that Complete Streets advocates are more crosswalks, getting rid of utility poles in the middle of walking paths, and sidewalks that abruptly…just END, forcing pedestrians to walk on the street.
I ride my bike sometimes on Country Club Road. I see some cyclists out on the road but I stick to the sidewalks (I’ve learned to live with the occasional stink-eye from walkers who feel like I'm endangering THEM).
That is, I stick to the sidewalk UNTIL IT ENDS A QUARTER OF A MILE BEFORE YOU GET TO THE BRIDGE OVER THE RIO GRANDE! At this point, my bike ride turns into Death Race 3000.
So, making the roads safer sounds like a great idea but…how much will it cost? If it’s going to take yet another Certificate of Obligation resulting in even HIGHER property taxes, I might just consider getting a Peloton instead.