Saturday, March 12, 2011

MacDade Boulevard Crash - Bad Driver and Bad Intersection

From a traffic justice perspective it's a no brainer.

NBC Philadelphia reports that 4 teenagers were struck by a driver who tried to "beat the light" as they were crossing MacDade Boulevard at Morton Avenue and Haverford Rd at 10PM on Friday Night. Two of the teens were released but two remain in the hospital with an eighth grader fighting for his life in intensive care.

"Mr. Williams should not have been driving. He did not have a valid driver's license. PennDot recalled it because he has a medical condition," Sgt. Charles Palo said.

And this was what the 11PM Report on NBC 10 news stated:
"Friends of the victims were wearing red to remind people to stop at red lights"

Besides the alleged driver negligence and time of day, the design of MacDade Boulevard cannot be ignored as a possible contributory factor. This road is posted at 35mph but the 4 lane configuration encourages speeding and "beating" the traffic light. In addition the Morton Avenue intersection is a skewed 5 way intersection and Ridley Park wisely puts a crossing guard there during school hours.

Our verdict, we hope that justice prevails and the driver is handed more than the routine slap on the wrist, and that the road itself can be made much safer for bicyclists and pedestrians at a relatively modest cost.

  • A roundabout - the friendly, modern cousin of the Jersey traffic circle has been proven to reduce speeds and intersection conflicts without increasing traffic delays.
  • Pedestrian countdown signals
  • Replacing the old school two line crosswalk with the "Abbey Road" zebra crosswalks
  • Red light cameras, to reduce red light running
  • Restriping the road to slightly narrow the traffic lanes to create bike lanes.
We wish a speedy recovery for all the crash victims.

View Larger Map

A crossing guard gives the indication of the danger of crossing MacDade Boulevard.


Anonymous said...

We live in a culture that exonerates public planners from all responsibility and commentary, while placing the blame squarely on the vulnerable participants. How can we make them accountable for failing to protect our right to safety?