It’s no easy role being a pedestrian on the streets of Philadelphia; especially when you’re a Temple student having to constantly cross them to get to classes.
The fast-paced archetype of city life creates a chaotic traffic scene where vehicles run red lights and remain unyielding to the defenseless perambulator. Not adhering to traffic regulations is a disgrace and the city needs to enforce methods of change.
On the streets, the dangers for students well acquainted with city life are omnipresent. However, for those who do not possess that element of street savoir-faire, their introduction to Philly’s traffic tribulations come as a shock.
A number of students coming to Temple having lived their entire lives in suburban or rural areas with minor street-based obstacles have to contend with new concepts. Green means go, but only carefully. Oh, and cars are still allowed to drive where you’re walking.
The sight of vehicles passing through red lights has become ubiquitous to the Philadelphia pedestrian. The same is true for the occurrence of people crossing a street when the light is in their favor and a vehicle simply plows through without hesitation. How can drivers be so reckless in a city where pedestrians are a constant presence on the street? Perhaps these drivers are all colorblind and unable to distinguish between the colors green and red.
Mayor Street has already begun to address this problem, as the idea of traffic light surveillance cameras has been proposed.
The cameras are capable of photographing the vehicle and license plate of those that disregard the red light. Results will gradually inhibit irresponsible drivers from running red lights due to the costly fine that is enforced.
This is a top problem in Philadelphia, as there have been 26,186 intersection crashes between 1995 and 2000 in addition to red-light violations being the leading cause of traffic accidents in the city.
This issue needs to be addressed immediately and is not something for the Pennsylvania legislature to chew on.
Another problem pedestrians face on the streets of Philadelphia exists on block corners. When walkers have the right to cross a block, cars also have the allowance to make the right hand turn onto that street. Often, the cars do not stop to look for people crossing the street.
This problem can be solved by posting more traffic police around the city to monitor the simple, yet potentially dangerous act of people crossing blocks while keeping clear of cars making the right hand turn.
This change would work cooperatively with the red-light-runner cameras, as there would be an extra method of surveillance to monitor traffic activity.
Temple students face the unpredictable Philadelphia streets on a daily basis. The Pa. legislature needs to enforce new and more comprehensive traffic laws and monitors to eliminate these problems.
The fact that red-light crashes are the dominant form of traffic accidents cannot be ignored. In the meantime, fellow Owls are well advised to look both ways before crossing.
Jesse North can be reached at email@example.com.