Andrew’s Town Hall in Artful Dodger

This might be the last community event I attend in Artful Dodger. Their building is being sold.



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Money Where Its Motor-Mouth Is

Good article by the Leader-Post, on how City Council talks an okay game, but then gives $193,000 to paving more of Wascana Park for cars, and next to $0 for cycling infrastructure so kids can bike to the parks on our streets safely.

No Evidence Of Dangerous Driving

CBC: Police (RPS)  have charged a 37 year old man with “leaving the scene of an accident” [sic].

Leader Post says, “Elijah J. Beros is charged with failure to stop at the scene of an accident involving bodily harm or death.”

The criminal code should be updated to include “leaving the scene of a fatal or injurious collision“, to get rid of the archaic term “accident”.

“Police spokesperson Les Parker said it was late at night when Gallon was hit and he was wearing dark clothing.
He said there is no evidence of dangerous driving at this time.”

That comment leaves me dumbfounded. Did RPS spox Parker not see the evidence of a human corpse lying in the street?

No evidence of dangerous driving? Look at the result! If you fire a gun into a crowd, the law says you’re guilty of murder when someone dies because of it. You intended to aim and shoot, it doesn’t matter you didn’t intend to hit the particular person who died. If you run over a human on a highway, you should be charged with killing them too, it’s straightforward.

A dead body isn’t evidence of safe driving. If a body is an example of normal driving, then driving is too unsafe.

It’s beyond offensive to excuse the accused because it was “late at night” when human decency and competent driving are not expected from people by RPS, apparently. And it’s offensive to blame the victim’s clothing on the collision. Maybe the victim had a flashing light that was knocked so far from his body by the truck, that police never found it? Then would RPS lay an additional appropriate manslaughter or dangerous driving causing death charge on the driver who took a life? How can you have a “leaving the scene” charge, without dangerous driving to have caused the scene that was left?

Looking into the possible sentence for the charge, I’m a bit miffed at the CBC. I’ll be asking they clarify their story’s details.

Offence involving bodily harm or death

(1.3) Every person who commits an offence under subsection (1) is guilty of an indictable offence and liable to imprisonment for life if

  • (a) the person knows that another person involved in the accident is dead; or

Without knowing the charge isn’t simply “leaving the scene of an accident” as CBC stated, left me initially with the impression that someone could one day kill me or someone I love, on a street, and their charge would be akin to that of someone who backs into a car in a parking lot and takes off! If Beros is sentenced to life or serious jail time, an additional conviction would be moot, aside from acknowledging that it takes dangerous driving to kill a person on a street.

Ode For a Sidewalk

Give us a sidewalk?

No.

Give us a sidewalk.

It’s a medium priority.

Give us a sidewalk!

Sometime in the future.

Give us a sidewalk, a cycle track, bus route, and safe streets!

Now!

End Of A Life

A careless, criminal driver left a man on a road to die, in Regina.

Watch Global Regina tonight for an interview with my thoughts on this tragedy, and what the City should do to prevent it from happening to anyone again.

UPDATE: Global didn’t include my comments about what the City must do to prevent deaths. A 30km/h speed limit would slash fatalities in the range of 90%. Improved, separated cycling and walking infrastructure everywhere (but first on major and recently deadly streets like Ross Ave. and Victoria Ave.) would help a lot. It’s possible to aim for 0 traffic related fatalities, and we should set that as our vision and start passing bylaws to meet it.

If streets are made safe enough that parents can comfortably let their children bike to anywhere in the city, we’ll have succeeded in improving our infrastructure.

(Side note: It’s always disappointing when I speak with the media for ~10 minutes, and 15 seconds is all they can/bother to include. I guess Luke made one of my points about infrastructure lacking, but it’s irritating that visibility of cyclists was covered as an angle in this story, when the critical factor was a law requiring the cyclist to use a street where they could be AND WERE run over by a motorist. Lighting would have played less of a role if the car had had automatic braking installed, or the driver had been required to drive at 30km/h so they might have reacted to the slower moving cyclist.)

Update: police are looking for a white damaged F-150 Ford truck.

http://leaderpost.com/news/local-news/daughter-of-man-killed-in-regina-hit-and-run-says-her-father-loved-his-family-with-all-of-his-heart

UPDATE: Police have charged a man with leaving the scene of an accident [sic]. The Act should be updated to include “scene of a fatal collision” with conviction resulting in a sentence similar to that of dangerous driving causing death.

Police spokesperson Les Parker said it was late at night when Gallon was hit and he was wearing dark clothing.

He said there is no evidence of dangerous driving at this time.

 

Extremely Normal Sidewalk Challenge

I challenge someone to take a bike, or walk from City Hall to Peavey Mart in the east end. From a lack of takers, we can assume it isn’t safe and the City of Regina has to fix it so there are sidewalks and cycle tracks available down Victoria Ave.
It’s only 6.4km, just 2km farther than City Hall to the University of Regina. Many people go this distance on their bike every day, or run around the lake this far for fun.
I was in the newspaper the other day asking why pedestrians always come second behind people getting around in cars, especially in construction zones. Conveniently there’s another construction site underway to test my theory…
Hi John Klein, the pedestrian sidewalk on the south side (under Ring Rd. overpass) is closed for safety during certain aspects of construction, but is usually open. It is closed when traffic is closed on Victoria Ave due to overhead work. Pedestrian access will be closed under the bridge this weekend when the road is also closed to traffic. Please use the north service road. Thank you.

John Klein John Klein: Are signs posted back at Park St. and Vic. so pedestrians know they’ve no way through if they don’t use the Service Rd from that point?

City of Regina | Municipal Government City of Regina | Municipal Government: John Klein The road closed signs applies to pedestrians and motorists. Further to that, we encourage pedestrians to ALWAYS use the north service road when walking in that area due to the high speed traffic on that section of Victoria Avenue.
John Klein John Klein: Pedestrians don’t tend to adhere to road closed signs if there isn’t also a sidewalk closed sign or fence. There being no sidewalk there makes that a bit awkward. If the City encourages pedestrians to ALWAYS use the service road, why is there a pedestrian underpass with lights at all? It’s not connected to anything. The answer to my rhetorical point is that the City doesn’t actively encourage pedestrians to use the service road, and should build the safe street infrastructure along Victoria Ave. so pedestrians stop dying in that stretch.

Build the TransRegina Sidewalk.

Pedestrian Safety Committee

This was sent to City Council last week in regard to this news story and Regina’s glacial repair of dangerous street design:

Your Worship, and City Councillors,

I write in support of Councillor O’Donnell’s idea to improve pedestrian safety in school zones. I would hope though that this effort to save lives is not limited to only school zones, and will be extended across the city.

The main problem is not just that the 40km/h and 50km/h limits are too high in residential areas, the streets are designed in an unsafe way for pedestrians, and actually encourage speeding. This debate was recently seen in Calgary, regarding fire truck street design vs. pedestrian safety design. For times when a collision does happen, 30km/h is far better than 40km/h, as a limit. That’s why it’s the standard for progressive countries looking to reduce auto/pedestrian fatalities.

To get people to actually slow down takes more than another street sign, it takes road redesign. Look on Broad St. N., College Ave., and Douglas Ave. for examples; all go by schools and have three lanes for cars (one is parking). If we were concerned about slowing vehicles down in these zones, one of those lanes would be blocked off for bicycles only, and there would be no parking close to where children and other pedestrians cross the street. There would be bulb-outs to make the walkers’ trip short, and pose a visual threat to drivers going too quickly. Speed humps, that put pedestrians at grade, like the one seen in the parking lot of Victoria Square Mall in front of Jysk is a fine example to copy too. Make streets as narrow as possible for cars (and emergency vehicles and snow removal equipment). Do not place congestion concerns above human life. If people want to avoid congestion, they can walk, bike, or take buses given priority lanes.

Two people have died recently on Victoria Ave. E. because that street was designed only with vehicles in mind. Instead of walling it off to people, give it safe places to cross, and a sidewalk (and cycle track) to connect east Regina with Downtown. With the new bypass, Victoria Ave. should be reclaimed as a city street instead of a highway hostile to pedestrians with the body count rising.