Monday, October 26, 2009
Safety in Numbers
Montgomery County Police deployed a device on Sligo Abenue to count vehicles and measure their speeds. I asked for Sligo Avenue to be considered for photo-enforcement in 2007, so I guess this is the result of that - amoung other things. This was done in three locations, for one week each.
I asked Councilmember Ervin's office for a look at the reports, and Sgt. Harmon dropped by my house with two sheets last week. Here is a look at the report for two of the locations.
Wow. What an interesting report. Amazing numbers. Why don't we have anything like this for pedestrians?
In my opinion, it is every bit as important for the County and SHA to have reliable numbers on pedestrians in key areas. They don't. They have only very narrow counts - not serious numbers. The technology exists to count pedestrians now - off-the-shelf. Not even really expensive. The Smart Growth Principles that we embraced when we stareted building all of these high-rises must not be forgotten after the buidling is finished. Studies show that there is safety in numbers - that more pedestrians means fewer collisions, less crime, nad a better bussiness environment. Lets use a constant-study of pedestrian trends to gauge the success of pedestrian programs, not just deaths and injuries.
This is an example of the kind of system used to count pedestrians. Developed for retail - Malls and large department stores, this technology could easily be re-purposed for pedestrian counting on MC sidewalks.
I want MCDOT and SHA to look into this technology - give it a try somewhere. I think the resault will surprise a few people.