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Louisiana Near The Top Of A Deadly List

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If you’ve ever driven on Johnston Street in Lafayette when the University of Louisiana is in session you’ve probably almost hit a pedestrian. While a good number of the students and faculty cross at the properly¬† marked crosswalks and wait for the lights, many students don’t.¬† This isn’t the only place where pedestrians and drivers often play a deadly game of chicken. Based on a new study many pedestrians in Louisiana never live to see the other side of the street.

The Center for Planning Excellence just released a 10 year study concerning pedestrian fatalities and Louisiana ranked 5th on the list. The study was created to help municipalities better plan for pedestrian walk ways and bicycle paths. The study indicated that most pedestrian fatalities occur when people attempt to cross a large roadway. This brings to mind the example of Johnston Street near U.L.

“As they are designing their roadways, they need to take into account the needs of all users at the beginning of the process,”

Rachel DiResto made these comments in a report published by the Louisiana Radio Network concerning local governments role in solving the problem. DeRisto went on to explain that media campaigns and awareness programs have helped the situation but not resolved it.

The emphasis has to be placed on providing safer crossing mechanisms at the planning stage. DiResto acknowledged that the implementation of sidewalks, bike paths and other pedestrian safe measures could be costly but the savings in human lives could not be calculated in dollars and cents.


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