10 September 2011

Edmonton Ignores The Bull in their China Shop

Photo via West Edmonton Local on Flickr.

The Edmonton Police have responded to the fact that 69% of pedestrian/car collisions are the fault of the drivers by... going after the pedestrians. Classic Ignoring the Bull tactics in a car-centric city. Not only are they condescending to pedestrians, they are continue the unfortunate tradition of treating people like sheep by herding them into pre-determined migration paths that protect the automobiles from disturbances that may result, shock horror, in the need to slow down and be aware.

The campaign features outdated shock tactics using stickers on the sidewalk of young people... um... having a nap. There is more about the Edmonton campaign here.

The concept of "Jaywalking" was an invention of the automobile industry in early decades of the last century during a comprehensive and lengthy campaign to brand streets as exclusive space for automobiles. A campaign started to counter the massive societal revolt against automobiles. We've covered it in previous posts about The Anti-Automobile Age. The Edmonton Police should cut to the chase and get a sponsorship from local car dealerships. They could add a Ford or Chevy logo to their uniform and use the sponsorship fees to pay for their Christmas party.

If there are places where "jaywalking" occurs regularly, it is probably time for the city planners to redesign and to listen carefully to the Desire Lines of their citizens.

And perhaps police forces everywhere should stick to law enforcement and leave marketing and behavioural campaigns to people who know what they're doing.


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miss sarah said...

I live here.

This is so embarrassing.



Frits B said...

"the unfortunate tradition of treating people like sheep by herding them into pre-determined migration paths". Isn't that what roads do to car drivers, too? To each species its own path.
Crossing the road within 30 metres from a zebra crossing is a finable offense in Holland where we like to keep possible enemies apart. Not that anybody cares, least of all the police.

newfangled said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
newfangled said...

I'm from Edmonton too, and the 69% statistic is for the Province of Alberta as a whole.

From the Edmonton Police Service's own numbers "Pedestrians crossing without the right of way accounted for 14% of injuries or fatalities."

So 86% of collisions occur when pedestrians have the right of way. And apparently this campaign thinks that number should be higher.

Terry said...

Drivers resent pedestrians, pedestrians despise drivers -- and when you go from being one to the other, your attitude shifts as well. But if you do a lot of travelling, you know yeg has a lot of pedestrian crossings and the speed limits are lower than you'd find in other cities around the world. Safe drivers are always, always, on the alert for pedestrians because there is a crossing in almost every block -- but pedestrians assume far too much about a driver's ability to make a safe stop. I've seen them push a button and immediately step off the curb like you can stop on a dime. This is why in some European cities, pedestrians can jaywalk where they want, but they're on their own. The car has the right of way. Ironically, when everyone recognizes that, it's probably safer for the pedestrian, too.

Kim said...

Ah a classic piece of blame the victim...