As pedestrian crashes climb in Springfield, public has mixed view of solutions proposed by city consultants; more public comment needed | News-Leader

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Springfield City Council listened to public feedback Monday night about a proposal aimed at reducing the number of pedestrians killed or injured on city streets.

Local resident Sarah Reid said she agrees there's a major problem with pedestrian deaths but in her opinion, the ordinance under consideration is not the right way to address it.

"I'm concerned about this affecting our lower-income citizens," Reid said. "The people who are most likely to be fined potentially under this ordinance are those who do not have cars and are more likely to be lower income, and would unlikely be able to pay any fines that come from this."

Among other things, the bill includes or modifies regulations concerning where and when pedestrians can cross streets, where and when vehicles must yield to pedestrians, and when, in high traffic areas, drivers are prohibited from exchanging items with anyone, such as panhandlers or people soliciting charitable donations and more. Violators could be subject to a fine of $100 or more.

MoBikeFed comment: Frankly, the solutions proposed by Springfield city's consultants do not follow national best practices--and in fact go directly against national best practices.

Criminalizing pedestrianism has not been a successful strategy anywhere.

On the other hand, implementing principles that have been successfully implemented in cities across the nation, such as Complete Streets and Vision Zero, has dramatically reduced traffic injuries and fatalities--not only pedestrian injuries, but injuries suffered by all road users.

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