Now’s the time to become familiar with Complete Streets.
There’s a growing movement in Spokane to institute a complete streets policy for all users--- including pedestrians of all ages and abilities, bicyclists, and public transportation---in an effort to increase safety and awareness.
Yesterday the Spokesman had an article about Dave Robertson who was hit while crossing Second Avenue and Monroe Street. He posted about the incident at Rings and Things where we works and was returning from. “Pedestrians get this all the time. Drivers only see other vehicles – they don’t look for people, they look for cars,” Robertson said in the S-R. “I have had countless near-misses in the last calendar year alone, walking and biking downtown.”
DTE had some close calls too and we’re not alone. Two years ago, crossing Monroe and Main---one of the most dangerous, congested intersections in the city---we were pushed by a driver late for class and pounded on the hood until they stopped. We were lucky.
2009 was a heartbreaker: 7 pedestrian fatalities.
Spokane Police Department spokeswoman Jennifer DeRuwe had this to say in the S-R: “Unfortunately, you as a pedestrian may have the right of way, but if it’s between you and a car, then the car is going to win. Pedestrians must be very aware of their surroundings no matter what the light says.” Suddenly walking has become a cat-and-mouse game with drivers. But once people see the positive before and after effects for the health, economy and environment in cities across America, this will be a change we can all get behind.
Futurewise is spearheading Complete Streets Spokane and is joined by the Spokane Regional Health District, the YMCA, and the Community Assembly of Spokane neighborhood councils.