Don’t Fence Me In

Proposed pedestrian fence.  Image from Google Earth.

In this morning’s Herald, an idea reminiscent of New York City in the late 1990s:

The proposed 6-foot-tall aluminum fence would start on the east side of Columbia Road near the street’s intersection with Second Avenue North. From there it would run south and meet with the Columbia overpass wall — a distance of approximately 300 feet.
“The idea is to force (pedestrians) to go down to the crosswalk,” Rich Romness, an engineer with the city, told the City Council’s safety committee Tuesday evening.

Luckily, at least one council member wants to see some hard data.  I think you could guess which one.

Installing a fence follows from the ideas that

  1. Automobiles are paramount, and
  2. Pedestrians need to be protected from themselves.

You might remember a similar idea/plan for University Avenue on UND campus to install barricades to prevent “jaywalking,” proposed for the same reason.  There’s no reason to do this on streets that have a 25 MPH speed limit–something both Columbia Road in this location and University Avenue (20 MPH on that stretch) have in common.

I agree: get some real data.

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