You have probably already seen/read KRQE reporter Lysee Mitri’s terrific story on the case of Jay White, who was struck and killed crossing Avenida Cesar Chavez at a crosswalk in 2016. I first just want to make sure you see/read it, as it goes well beyond most such stories, print or otherwise, in extending not only to the personal tragedy, but also to the factors leading to Mr. White’s death.
Ms. Mitri’s report begins an examination of these factors that is more fully explored by something else you should, and perhaps already have, read today: A Twitter thread by Albuquerque urban planner Dan Majewski @dan_majewski:
Interesting and tragic story here but it’s missing the point:
The primary problem is the 7 lane street with wide 12 foot lanes, not much traffic and therefore high speeds, dividing the parking lot and the event venue. #visionzeroabq #endtrafficviolence #slowdownabq #movepeople https://t.co/uj0HkrHy6u
— Dan Majewski (@dan_majewski) August 22, 2018
By the way, for those still unaccustomed to Twitter, you can click to follow the entire thread. Mr. Majewski’s insights led to several follow-up discussions, from which I’ll pick one:
In case Dan’s being too subtle, it is the designers of an intrinsically unsafe transportation system. https://t.co/fldlaFD2a9
— John Fleck (@jfleck) August 22, 2018
I have nothing to add, other than to make the, perhaps germane, observation that our tendency to trade safety for convenience seems somehow heightened when it comes to sports and attendance at sporting events. What is good, clean American fun, like spending a few hours grilling and drinking in a parking lot, isn’t seen as quite as good and clean if that parking lot isn’t attached to a sports facility.
Same with designing roads for maximum game time/game over driving speed and capacity, even if there are parking lots on the other side of that same street designed for maximum speed/capacity.
This is a conversation this community desperately needs to continue, and Lysee Mitri (sorry, I’m having trouble figuring out how to accent that first “e,” Ms. Mitri) is very much to be commended for her work and report. As noted in the story, the police report cites “no driver error,” nor pedestrian error. Undoing the true errors that led to Mr. White’s death need take center stage in further discussions this community has on this particular case and the unfortunate roadway design reality found, almost literally, all over this town.