The Star reports on issuance of summonses for pedestrians who cross the road without using the pedestrian bridges by the City Hall’s Road Safety Department officers.
KUALA LUMPUR: Seven people were summoned for dashing across the road rather than using the pedestrian bridge during the first half hour of a road safety campaign in Chow Kit here.
It was organised by the Road Safety Department, City Hall (DBKL), and the police yesterday.
Department director Muhammad Heeza Hassan said the percentage of road accidents here involving pedestrians had increased by 50% from January to November this year compared with the same period last year.
TRANSIT Says: We wishes to express disappointment over the City Hall’s knee-jerk reaction to ‘prevent’ pedestrian accidents in the city center by punishing jaywalkers.
Pedestrian accidents are caused by the high speed gap between nonmotorized and motorized modes of transport, not by the lack of pedestrian bridges (or their use). As the authorities focus on making journey by car faster and easier at the expense of the pedestrian convenience, less and less people would want to take the public transport, and more and more people would have to use their cars to run errands. This explains why our wide road spaces in downtown KL oftentimes turn into ugly scenes of polluting car parks.
In line with our national urban plans and policies which emphasizes optimum urban land use and compact cities, the present mobility infrastructure within areas with high people-based activities must be designed to facilitate movement of people instead of cars. GTP’s Greater KL ambition to sustain the population of 10 million urbanites will be in great danger if we fail to shift towards the very fundamental mindset that accords respect from car drivers to pedestrians, and from those who travel individually to those who travel collectively.
TRANSIT calls for pedestrian bridges at streets with heavy and bustling people-based activity centers such as Jalan Pudu, Jalan Tun Tan Cheng Lock and Jalan TAR to be dismantled and replaced by at-grade crossings, which are friendlier to seniors, children and the physically challenged alike.
In activity centers, pedestrian bridges do not solve jaywalking deaths, but slower speed limit for general traffic and greater right of way to pedestrians will do. Walking remains the single greatest mode to access public transport, and hence efforts to guarantee its convenience should be given emphasis in transforming Kuala Lumpur into a sustainable and livable metropolis.
Cities with high public transport ridership rarely have pedestrian bridges. Take a look at these photos.
Take a look at an interesting video made in La Paz, where youngsters were paid to wear zebra costumes on the street to educate drivers to pay respect to pedestrians in a very fun, creative and engaging way.