Parents and motorists play an important role in decreasing child pedestrian injuries. However, A Call To Change at the community level is also essential (and possibly the most essential) if we are to decrease pedestrian injuries. We need to make our communities pedestrian friendly. This involves a wide variety of expertise including, but not limited to parents, health care professionals, law enforcement, city planners and engineers; transportation professionals; school officials; city/county zoning officials; policy makers; housing developers; business and insurance leaders; and parks/recreation officials.
You will need to observe your community from the eyes of a pedestrian and examine where the problem areas are. Observations should be conducted at times and locations when children as well as adults - including the elderly - are most likely to gather, such as before and after school, at recreational centers and at popular locations.
Not all interventions are appropriate for every situation; that is why it is important to bring together a variety of experts. Here is a partial listing to consider:
- Use traffic calming devices. These are devices intended to slow the speed of traffic, and include roundabouts and speed humps.
- Create additional crosswalks, traffic signals and stop signs. This is important to consider if you have areas where pedestrians are forced to cross mid-block or between parked cars.
- Speed limits: Increase enforcement. Current speed limits should be enforced, and speed limits should be lowered in other areas.
- Provide adequate green space. Children need places to play that they can access safely.
- Put sidewalks in the right places. Place sidewalks in locations that pedestrians use and maintain the condition of current sidewalks.
- Is zoning promoting safety? Zoning changes that incorporate pedestrian and bicycle safety.
- Are housing developments safe for pedestrians? Incorporate pedestrian safety into the design of new housing divisions.