Pedestrian Traffic and Safety

The cheapest form of transportation is one’s own two feet.

by Bob Fleming

A Greater Seattle home page My monorail web site My mass transit web site Contact me
Different Modes of Transportation:
Bicycles Automobiles Motorcycles Buses Bus Rapid Transit Streetcars Light Rail Heavy Rail Subway Monorail Personal Rapid Transit Magnetic Levitation

My name is Bob Fleming, and I am very interested in seeing a greatly improved transportation system for Seattle and the surrounding region.

While a lot of time is spent arguing about better highways and better mass transit, one mode of transportation usually overlooked is pedestrian traffic.

In some cases people travelling a short distance walk rather than ride or bike. If more money is spent on making it more convenient and safer for people to walk, more people will walk.

Safe and convenient pedestrian facilities are far cheaper than providing for other modes of transportation, and more pedestrians would mean fewer vehicles on the road.

In many cases bikeways can be used also for walking, jogging, and running.

In areas of high pedestrian traffic, such as downtown areas and neighborhood business districts, covered walkways would encourage more people to walk in unpleasant weather.

In Seattle a group called Feet First is actively encouraging people to walk instead of drive. One current activity is that Feet First members are selling wheeled carts at a grocery store to people that drive only a few blocks to the store in order to encourage them to walk instead.

In Seattle there has been considerable discussion about pedestrian safety lately. The city is responding by removing crosswalk markings in some locations in order to encourage pedestrians to cross at marked crosswalks with traffic lights.

Under Washington state law a crosswalk is the natural extension of a sidewalk across a roadway. If there are no lines marking the crosswalk, it is called an "unmarked crosswalk." Under state law vehicles must stop for pedestrians in a crosswalk, regardless of whether it is marked or unmarked. It seems many drivers either don’t know what an unmarked crosswalk is and that they should stop, or they just don’t care! Therefore there is a greater risk for a pedestrian crossing in an unmarked crosswalk.

I strongly believe that there should be a strong effort to educate drivers and to ticket drivers who fail to yield to pedestrians in crosswalks, whether marked or unmarked.


The Fleming Family home page

Contact me


©2006 Robert M. Fleming Jr.

This page was last updated on 11 September 2015

Valid XHTML 1.0 Transitional