Transportation

Another Hit and Run

By Jason Leach
Published April 30, 2007

CHML reports another sad news story and another example of why citizens in this neighbourhood (including myself) have been calling for immediate action regarding the safety of Dundurn, Queen, King, Main and the York Blvd Expressway.

It's stunning to me that city hall cares so little about our kids, seniors and those who don't own (or use) a car.

Jason Leach was born and raised in the Hammer and currently lives downtown with his wife and children. You can follow him on twitter.

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By Brandon (registered) | Posted May 03, 2007 at 13:35:44

Not to take anything away from the point here, but I just spoke with the father of the boy who was hit. The car was heading west on Tom St and blew the stop sign, hitting him as he was stepping out to cross the street.

How could city hall have prevented this?

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By nobrainer (registered) | Posted May 03, 2007 at 16:25:01

It's all about improving the odds. Say you've got a thousand people who smoke and drink and eat mickey D's and another thousand people who eat their veggies and exercise every day. You can't say this guy or that guy is going to live yea long, but you can say that the second thousand is going to have a longer average life expectancy than the first thousand.

Right now the odds are against pedestrians. It's really easy to speed, so more people speed more often and more pedestrians get hit. If it was a lot harder to speed, people would speed less and less pedestrians would get hit. Traffic calming might or might not have worked in THIS particular case, but there would be fewer cases overall if the streets were calmer.

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By Brandon (registered) | Posted May 03, 2007 at 18:14:09

I have no problem with slowing traffic down, I do have a problem with using an unrelated incident to make a political point.

The person didn't stick around, which usually means either they were drunk, on drugs or had a stolen car (according to the police) and no amount of traffic calming will protect one from this sort of solution.

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By nobrainer (registered) | Posted May 04, 2007 at 11:26:15

You write "make a political point" like that's a bad thing...

The basic problem in hamilton is that drivers are made to feel like the world bends backwards for them and caters to their every whim. They get in the habit of driving like nothing's allowed to get in their way, and they take that habit off the main drags. I live on a side street that runs parallel to the Mainking Superhighwaystravaganza and cars whiz up our street like it's a collector lane--because they feel ENTITLED, and too bad for any kids that might get in the way.

I'm not just making a political point--i really think that entitlement habit is why drivers blow through stop signs and race down side streets and drive like they don't care about human life at all. Look at that woman taht was killed in a hit and run last week--she was knocked over a railing onto the highway below and the cars were freaking swerving around her body so they could get to work. No one even got out to help. Even the cops were blown away.

That attitude that being a driver and wanting to get somewhere is more important than all the poor shmucks hoofing it around is behind all the people getting hit. You can quibble the details of this or that incident but the pattern is pretty obvious. The culture of Get The Hell Out Of My Way that rules on Main and King spills over to the rest of the city as well.

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By Brandon (registered) | Posted May 04, 2007 at 18:46:07

I'm not disagreeing with you at all. I'm just asking what City Hall (or anyone else, for that matter) could have done differently in this particular case?

The stop sign was already in place, and you have to admit, blowing a stop sign to turn onto Dundurn near York is taking a huge risk, no matter the sense of entitlement that anyone may have.

In my opinion it just cheapens the cause when you start using incidents that have nothing to do with it to prove it. All that does is provide fodder for those who don't agree to say that you really don't know what you're talking about and that you're a fanatic and can be dismissed because of that.

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By councilwatch (anonymous) | Posted May 10, 2007 at 04:47:39

How to slow down traffic in residential districts? Contact the District of West Vancouver wher in residential and built up areas all cross streets are four way stops.Check, but I believe that they recorded four pedestrian accidents and one hit and run for all of 2006.

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By JH (anonymous) | Posted May 10, 2007 at 22:20:40

The notion that "there's nothing you can do" to stop the supposedly crazy exceptions of people who drink, or use drugs while driving, is rather unsubstantiated. There is clearly a correlation between the penalty that you place on a crime, the attention paid to monitoring people's behaviour, and following through with the rules enforced. Take drunk driving, for example, which has been reduced through a variety of public awareness, and hefty legal consequences.

So yes, these things are political...politics regulate people and populations, encouraging or allowing some behaviour, and discouraging of proscribing other behaviour. Right?

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