2015 is sadly shaping up to be a poor year for pedestrian safety in Indianapolis. Today, there has already been a crashÂ on the south side with a person listed in critical condition. My fear is that it may end up being the worst year on record for deaths and injuries, as it seems to be an almost daily occurrence. It happens all over town, but it always seems to be the worst in places where cars are moving the fastest and pedestrians are a rarer sight.
Last month,Â a pedestrian was killed in a hit-and-run accident at the intersection of Crestview and Kessler Boulevard. This portion of Kessler has no sidewalks or crosswalks, but it does have 4 lanes of fast-moving vehicle traffic. What is most glaringÂ about this predicament is that it is just a few blocks away from the Monon Trail, pinnacle of the Rails-to-Trails movement that helped destroy myths and raise property values. I decided to make a map of a potential sidewalk where it would meet with the Monon, which has a bridge over Kessler:
Just to the east of this bridge is where Kessler turns into a 4-lane auto speedway. Â It then gains and loses sidewalks at unpredictable intervals. Â Kessler narrows to 2 lanes right before the Monon bridge, but I still think there should be room for sidewalks under it as well. At the very least, there should be a ramps up the hill to the Monon Trail from this street.
Indianapolis has not committed to anything like the Vision Zero plan in New York City to reduce pedestrian fatalities all the way to 0. And I think it may actually be a larger challenge here. There are so many stroads to tame, and walking is less a part of the culture in much of the city. It’s not uncommon to read the comments sections of the articles about the crashes which basically lay blame to the victim, especially if that victim is on a bicycle.
So, consider this post a call out to the campaigns of Joe Hogsett and Chuck Brewer. Is the current situation acceptable? If not, what are your plans to make it better?