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Top 10 CdM Election Year Talking Points

Here in Corona del Mar we’ll be electing someone new to the City Council in November. Nancy Gardner is terming out; she started the bike movement in the City, perhaps the next Council will continue advancing alternatives to automobiles.

Just yesterday StreetsblogLA featured Dangerous by Design, a report on preventable pedestrian fatalities:

California has the nation’s second-highest pedestrian fatality rate for older pedestrians

CdM has an aging population and dangerous streets, too. What could we do to offset this trend of seniors getting whacked?

A lot, it turns out, but why seniors?

Older adults face more risks as pedestrians because they may be less able to react quickly to an oncoming vehicle. Once struck, their increased frailty makes them less likely to recover from a serious collision. Further, older adults may have greater exposure to pedestrian crashes as they increasingly give up their car keys and seek alternative ways to get around.

Can you read yourself into this scenario? I can, so I’m inclined to offer a few talking points – a 2014 Pedestrian Platform – for our District 6 candidates for City Council:

  1. Traffic congestion and parking demand aren’t going to get better on their own. We’ve got to encourage alternatives to driving an automobile as we run errands and entertain ourselves. Since most trips are 3 miles or less, walking and biking could play a bigger role in moving people around, if people felt safe doing so.
  2. We have a highway running through CdM. This is great if you live in south county and work in Seal Beach – you can sail through town and hardly touch the brake. If you live here though, Coast Hwy sucks. Literally, it saps vitality out of the community. It’s why we have 10 banks along this 1-mile stretch. Reducing the speed limit from 35mph to 20 would go a long way to resuscitating CdM. And if someone does get hit by a car remember, survivability at 20mph is 95%.
  3. There aren’t enough crosswalks. The goal used to be to move as many cars as possible, as quickly as possible, as if people were thinking, “Pedestrians just slow traffic, you know, so let’s have as few crosswalks as possible.” Today communities up and down the state are starting to think differently. We should, too.
  4. You might want to cross here

    You might want to cross here, but it’s forbidden. Cars take priority.

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