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Stamford pedestrian safety under scrutiny

A vehicle recently struck and killed a pedestrian as she walked in a crosswalk in Stamford. A member of the Connecticut Bicycle and Pedestrian Advisory Board visited the site of this fatal pedestrian accident and said that cars cannot stop in time because of the location of the crosswalk.

Accordingly, there are calls for Stamford to adopt the complete streets national policy to combat pedestrian accidents. This plan designs roadways that can also be shared safely by bicycles and pedestrians.

Stamford, however, has limited resources to implement safety improvements. Only one traffic engineer is employed by the city. Its budget allows for a transportation planner who has not yet been hired.

Stamford has made some modest improvements, nonetheless. It began repainting all crosswalks. The police department will also commence a grant-funded distracted driving enforcement program in September.

Mayor David Martin also seeks to move all the traffic signs prohibiting right turn on red lights closer to the traffic light to improve their visibility to drivers. The mayor said that modernization improvements will be made when construction is required for an intersection.

Despite these concerns, the Stamford area is not the most dangerous area in the state for pedestrian safety. The Bridgeport, Norwalk, Stamford area suffered 75 pedestrian deaths in 2003-2010. By comparison, there were 99 fatalities in the New Haven-Milford and 121 deaths in Hartford during this period. The National Highway Transportation and Safety Administration reported that Connecticut suffered 36 pedestrian fatalities in crashes in 2012.

Despite these attempts to combat this danger, which suffer from budget constraints, Connecticut pedestrians will continue to face the mortal danger of car-versus-pedestrian crashes in the state. Victims of these accidents should seek advice to determine whether a lawsuit may be filed and whether they can seek compensation for losses and injuries that they suffer.

Source: WSHU, "Looking at pedestrian safety in Conn., after a tragedy," Craig Lemoult, July 25, 2014

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