Two car/cyclist crashes in Pitcairn
“Pitcairn Police Stepping Up Bicycle Safety Measures After 2 Accidents In A Week”
While I agree that some safe biking education should be done with the kids in the neighborhood, I think they should do more on the driver behavior too. The cop says they will stop kids to enforce helmet use, but says nothing about ticketing the speeding drivers.
I ride Center Avenue every day. I see kids playing there all the time, running and riding bikes out in the street. It’s not a road that gets a lot of speeding; there is a fair bit of traffic, but I’ve never see anybody really gun it. As much as I’d like to blame the drivers exclusively, this is a situation where the kids need some education, too. (What they really need is a better place to play. But it warms my heart to see them running around in front of their house the way I used to when I was a kid. So let them play, but look first, please.)
The cop says they will stop kids to enforce helmet use, but says nothing about ticketing the speeding drivers.
But the fact that the police chief has already charged the driver who hit the 9 year old, and wants the 25 mph speed limit lowered, seems better than the reaction from law enforcement in many other towns. Here we have the police chief saying cars drive too fast, and Jon saying it’s not a big problem; these aren’t the sides cyclists and law enforcement are usually on.
I watched the report on the news and my reaction is similar to Marko’s, I was banging my head a bit when scale was tilting heavily toward educating the kids as the solution. I would say it was not balanced. Much footage of a mother saying she wouldn’t let her kids off the sidewalk, etc. Obviously kids need to be educated to behave safely. But given our current environment, I strongly believe we need some vehicular affirmative action – we need to push responsibility onto drivers past the balance point in order to arrive at a reasonable center.
BTW, I was thinking of Middle Ave, between Wilmerding & Turtle Creek. I see Center in Pitcairn is a completely different road. I ride past it, not on it. I don’t have any direct experience with whether cars are speeding. I’m glad the police chief taking safety seriously.
I grew up in Brooklyn NYC and was fortunate enough to live on “a play street” between when I was 1 and 6 years old. Everyday at 3pm, the older kids on the block would pull police sawhorses out from the curbs and block both ends of the street: LOCAL TRAFFIC ONLY. You could only drive on that block if you lived there.
Then everyday at 5pm, the bigger kids would take them down and put them on the curb. Police driving around would make sure they were up-and-down appropriately.
The kids from the streets on either side of our block would come around to play on our street. It was a wonderful thing. Then in first grade we moved, and the “play street” was around the corner from the new house.
They were absolutely fantastic for a little kid. And it provided an opportunity for interaction with the police that was a good thing. If we left them up past the time, they’d talk to us and say, You know it would be a shame if we had to take these away, etc. When I was 4, to me the cops were the guys who provided the barriers for the play street and that was a big thing.
They also sponsored a basketball league in the evenings.
I still see kids playing in the street in some of the poorer eastern suburbs on the way home each day — Wilmerding, Turtle Creek, and Wilkinsburg, mostly. Kids elsewhere seem to be indoors or at some organized event. I love seeing kids of all ages racing around on foot and their bikes, making up some game, throwing things, learning from each other, taking risks. It would be a shame for parents to get so afraid of traffic that they’d start keeping them under control.
V’s story isn’t too different from the street where I spent much of my childhood (Sirrett St, Buffalo NY 14220, if you want to take a look on StreetView). No sawhorses, but kids always played in the street. A toot on the horn if you needed to get your car past the hockey goals or whatever.
A “twenty is plenty” campaign, plus education from K-5 on up about who goes where when and how and why, and continue this on into the future, would make much of this problem go away.
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