Pedestrian Power in Hobart
October 5, 2009
New Hobart community group “Pedestrian Power” was launched last week on National Walk to Work day on Friday 2nd October 2009 with a mass crossing of pedestrians at the Davey/Murray St intersection to highlight the need for improved pedestrian safety developments and the lack of time allocated to pedestrians to cross the road. The allocated 4 seconds proved no where near enough time for the 20 people crossing the intersection to get across before the cars started edging towards them. At peak hour periods it is not uncommon to see 10-15 people waiting at the lights on Maquarie and Davey St intersections with other streets most days of the year.
HTH members support walking as a legitimate form of urban travel due to the significant health benefits from the incidental physical activity it generates.
Speed of car traffic is an issue HTH feels very strongly about considering that the current speed of 60 km/hour through the city on Maquarie and Davey streets poses a bit less than an 85% risk of fatality for any pedestrian hit at that speed. If however the speed was reduced to 40km/hour the pedestrian fatality rate would drop to about 10% (Dora, 2009 cited in Cycling Getting Australia Moving, 2008).
Given the number of pedestrians hit by cars and seriously injured in an around the city in recent months the reduction of speed limits would be a huge move in the right direction to improve pedestrian safety and thoroughfare through the city.
Email Helen Pryor or Michael Lynch if you are interested in “Pedestrian Power” at firstname.lastname@example.org