May 17, 2012

Speeds and Pedestrian Injuries

The purpose of this hearing is to outline the project purpose, its proposed location, and to provide other pertinent information, including maps and property descriptions of the properties to be acquired and adjacent parcels. The project is located within the Town of East Greenbush.  The project is considering two alternatives to reconstruct the US Route 4 & Mannix Road intersection.  The two alternatives being considered are the installation of a traffic signal and the construction of a two-lane roundabout.  Further details will be available at displays areas manned by staff familiar with the project.  Graphic displays will be available for viewing, one-half hour before the hearing.  Any questions should be referred to staff members attending the displays.

According to U. S. Department of Transportation
National Highway Traffic Safety Administration

The relationship between vehicle travel speeds and resulting pedestrian injury was reviewed in the literature and in existing data sets. Results indicated that higher vehicle speeds are strongly associated with both a greater likelihood of pedestrian crash occurrence and more serious resulting pedestrian injury.
It was estimated that only 5 percent of pedestrians would die when struck by a vehicle traveling at 20 miles per hour or less. This compares with fatality rates of 40, 80, and nearly 100 percent for striking speeds of 30, 40, and 50 miles per hour or more respectively. Reductions in vehicle travel speeds can be achieved through lowered speed limits, police enforcement of speed limits, and associated public information. More long-lasting speed reductions in neighborhoods where vehicles and pedestrians commonly share the roadway can be achieved through engineering approaches generally known as traffic calming. Countermeasures include road humps, roundabouts, other horizontal traffic deflections (e.g., chicanes), and increased use of stop signs. Comprehensive community-based speed reduction programs, combining public information and education, enforcement, and roadway engineering, are recommended. Read the full report...

The point I guess is that East Greenbush is getting a round-about, like it or not.
A resident who attended wrote:
A laughable chart in the powerpoint, showing the relationship between vehicle speed and pedestrian safety...The point being that roundabouts are safer because they force vehicles to slow down, so even though the traffic does not stop (unlike an traffic light intersection) you are safer because when the vehicle does hit you, you have very little chance of dying. Versus a light where the traffic is stopped, but IF someone were to run a red light, and was to also hit you, you would definitely be dead.

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