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SUV Driver Kills Cyclist in Sioux Falls; Pay Attention Behind the Wheel

A driver in an SUV kills a woman on a bicycle, and a Sioux Falls police captain says this:

Sioux Falls Police haven't issued any tickets for the crash that pinned Adams under the SUV and as they continue to talk with witnesses they don't believe anyone was doing anything wrong.

"It's a terrible tragedy. A very unfortunate situation and a life was lost because of it," Sioux Falls Police Captain Greg VandeKamp said.

Police don't believe speed was a factor because the SUV was stopped just short of the sidewalk waiting for an opening in traffic and when it pulled out it hit the bicyclist who was riding down the sidewalk.

"You know how it is trying to get out on a busy road. You're paying attention to the traffic, traffic, traffic and you're waiting for that gap. A lot can change in 15 to 20 seconds from one time you look one direction and you look back the other way," VandeKamp said.

Whether it's in a car or on a bike, officers say the crash is a tragic reminder that everyone needs to be paying attention when they are on the streets and sidewalks.

"A cyclist or a pedestrian you never can assume that they see you, or have seen you, because about that time tragedy happens as was in this case," VandeKamp said [Ben Dunsmoor, "SF Police: Bike Fatality a 'Terrible Tragedy',", 2014.07.17].

The Sioux Falls police office spends more time giving cyclists advice on KELO Radio:

Adams was legally riding her bicycle on the sidewalk when she was struck yesterday. That raises the question...should cyclists be riding on sidewalks?

VandeKamp says one of the local cycling groups recommends that its members ride in the street in order to be seen more easily by motorists. However, he adds that it's not a good idea to send young children on bikes into traffic.

Police are also reminding those who cycle on sidewalks that they must stop at intersections and walk their bike across the street [Greg Belfrage, "Fatal Traffic Accident Is Painful Reminder," KELO Radio: The Daily Dose, 2014.07.17].

Officer VandeKamp spending an awful lot of time admonishing the folks on thirty pounds of steel and extending sympathy to the folks trying to push two tons of steel into traffic.

Yes, I'll watch where I'm riding. Yes, I'll wear bright pink and chartreuse and other wild colors. Yes, I'll avidly seek eye and voice contact with every driver I see at every intersection so we can verify each other's awareness and intentions. Yes, I'll take my two wheels out into the street and off the sidewalk whenever possible. Heck, I'll even brake and ring a bell or shout a gentle, "Bike left!" to pedestrians I'm overtaking so they don't jump at my swift and silent passing.

But who killed whom at 49th and Kiwanis? Who ultimately did not look, did not see the bicycle coming, and did not think, "Boy, that gal is an idiot, riding her bike during the noon rush hour, but she may have kids in that trailer, she may not want to take that trailer out on the street, and she doesn't look like she's stopping, so I guess it's up to me to avoid this accident and wait another ten seconds to get on my way"?

Little, then big. People on foot have the right of way. Always. Then bicycles. Cars come last. Last, last, last. When we are driving cars, we have the greatest power, and we thus have the greatest responsibility. That responsibility is a small price to pay for the luxury of internal combustion, satellite radio, and air conditioning.

Or you can just kill someone and tell yourself, "She should have been looking," every night.


  1. Michael B 2014.07.19

    In reality the biggest vehicle has the right of way. I used to ride motorcycle and you ALWAYS had to be paranoid about being seen. I gave the bike up because of safety.

    Be careful out there and try to stay safe.

  2. SDTeacher 2014.07.19

    It is my experience that drivers in Sioux Falls tend to be too engaged in their phones, radios, fast food etc to properly pay attention to the road, so when cyclists and bikers are hurt or killed, I feel sad, but not surprised. That being said, I seriously doubt that 26 year old woman is sitting around thinking about how the victim should have looked. It seems more likely that she's vainly wishing that she could take that moment back and trying to figure out how to live with the fact that she killed someone with that SUV. I don't think she's a victim, but I suspect that she's forever changed by and deeply remorseful about this death.

  3. mike from iowa 2014.07.19

    Serious ?-would this driver be considered distracted?

  4. SDBlue 2014.07.19

    Drivers in Sioux Falls get worse on a daily basis. Some do not understand what the red signs with the letters S T O P on them mean. When green lights turn yellow, that means floor it! Lots of cars don't have working turn signals...even the newest models. People will look at you coming their way and pull right in front of you anyway. Don't even get me started on the idiots talking on their cell phones. Remember the comedian Gallagher? His idea was for each driver to have a dart gun with "asshole" stickers. As soon as a police officer sees a vehicle with three stickers on it, they automatically get a ticket! On a more serious note, we see so many accident stories regarding people with multiple DUI's, no valid license and no insurance. How about we change the rules regarding renewing license tags? You must show a valid driver's license and proof of insurance or you do not get your tags. SFPD will stop you in a heartbeat if you are driving on expired tags.

  5. bearcreekbat 2014.07.19

    A huge danger for pedestrians in RC is the right on red rule. Pedestrians on the right side of the car face motorists looking to there left for oncoming traffic, and many of these motorists forget to look back to the front and right before commencing their right on red turn. About a year ago I was nearly taken out on East North Street by a RC bus driver who turned right into me as I started across Main even though I had the walk sign. Lucky for me he happened to notice me at the last second and slammed on the brakes just as the bus reached my body knocking me several feet backward.

    I knew a 70+ year old lawyer who was taken down by a car as he tried to cross 8th street at the Kansas City street intersection a while back due to another right on red - he was a tough old coot and survived. Most of us thought that had the motorist not broken the lawyer's leg, he would have jumped up and beat the hell out of the motorist.

    Sadly, another elderly and partially blind teacher who was a friend of my spouse also was killed trying to cross the street at 5th and St. Pat and a young woman turning right on red ran her down.

    Like Michael B, I ride MCs (but haven't quit yet) and learned to always expect a motorist to pull out in front of me or violate the law in some way. Usually they don't, but many times this caution has prevented me from being hit. I transferred this concern to auto driving and it has helped me avoid accidents by expecting people not to yield or to change lanes without looking. Too bad I wasn't smart enough to take that lesson to the street as a pedestrian before the bus driver taught me the lesson.

  6. Deb Geelsdottir 2014.07.19

    In Minneapolis/St Paul the big push is for drivers to stop at unlighted intersections when pedestrians are waiting to cross. Daily I drive on a busy street bordered by a college campus on one side. Lots of foot traffic. There are stoplights every 3-4 blocks. I try to watch for peds, but when traffic is heavy on this 4 lane, 30 mph street, it's difficult. When there is a delivery truck, van, SUV, or other big vehicle in front and/or beside me, I can't see walkers until I'm next to them, too late to stop. It's frustrating.

    Of course there are good, law abiding bike riders here, but there are lots of bad ones too. They run red lights and stop signs, change lanes and pass illegally, go the wrong way on one way streets, etc. When I see them I assume they're going to do something illegal or stupid and I don't want to find out what it's like to live with an accident someone else died in.

    Dumbass drivers? Distracted drivers? OMG! I think it was just last week that a decent and reputable young man was trying to do some online banking as he drove. He killed a woman and child who were biking. He'll serve some time, less because he admitted everything, stopped immediately and tried CPR on the mother after calling 911. Worst of all - he has to live with the terrible thing he's done. Of course that won't mitigate the family's suffering and grief.

  7. lesliengland 2014.07.19

    was at a political meeting the other night and the secretary admitted texting while driving. i was dumbfounded but didn't say a word.

  8. SDTeacher 2014.07.19

    When I was in my early twenties, I was pulling out of a parking lot after class, trying to make a right hand turn. Everything was clear on my left and I didn't look to the right until I started pulling out onto the street. I barely avoided hitting one of my professors, who had been jogging on the sidewalk. I learned my lesson very thoroughly as she made eye contact with me and I thought about how truly horrible it would have been if I'd hit her. I cannot imagine being responsible for that kind of accident.

  9. Rorschach 2014.07.19

    We can all see how this happened. Driver was looking left for a break in the traffic and bicyclist approached on right. But how is this any different than the National Guardsman who killed the bicyclist in Minnesota? Both Both bicyclists were riding in a legal manner. Both vehicle drivers were not maintaining a proper lookout. The reason for the drivers not seeing a legally operated bike makes no difference to either of the victims. They are equally dead. This driver should have been charged at the very least with careless driving - which is what this was. It is outrageous that this driver is not charged with any traffic violation for killing a bicylist riding legally. Once again I feel sympathy for everyone involved, but why is one careless driver charged with manslaughter and another equally careless driver with an equally dead victim not facing any charges at all?

  10. mike from iowa 2014.07.19

    Which is why I asked if this driver was distracted. Not paying attention to sidewalk traffic while concentrating on something else should be punishable.

  11. John 2014.07.19

    and they wonder why people take the law into their own hands . . . git a rope

  12. JeniW 2014.07.19

    Every situation is different, even if there are similarities.

    Why charges were not pressed, we may never know.

  13. Curt 2014.07.19

    Sorry. This time I think SFPD hits the mark. It's a tragic reminder for all of us - whether we travel on foot, on 2 wheels, or on 4 (or more) - to remain alert while in traffic. This accident happened hundreds of miles from me, but I have not been able to put it out of my mind. Either one of the two parties involved in this terrible accident could just as easily have been me.

  14. Jenny 2014.07.19

    I almost get to the point of paranoia whenever I'm at a busy,busy intersection with bicyclists and pedestrians. Paranoia is on my side I guess, better safe than sorry.

  15. Roger Cornelius 2014.07.19

    I live in downtown Rapid City and for the most part enjoy it.
    My daily exercise is walking and I walk for various services. As a pedestrian in downtown I literally risk the danger of being hit every time I am out.
    RC drivers are notorious for unnecessarily charging or rushing walkers. Even at intersections where there are not lights but have been designated as safe crossings, it is near impossible to get drivers to acknowledge you want to cross the street.
    When I was young and working in Oklahoma, I was hit by a drunk driver while crossing the street and so have always been sensitive and cautious when walking.
    A few months ago I had to start using a cane and I do get a bit more attention from drivers.

  16. bearcreekbat 2014.07.19

    Roger, I would bet a dollar to a dime that we have crossed paths, as for about the last ten years or so my main exercise was walking in downtown RC. I wouldn't be a bit surprised if we said hello or even stopped to chat. My favorite walks included the Memorial Park bike path from the Fairgrounds all the way to the trails along M Hill and Cowboy Hill often to McDonalds on West Main. (I even walked those trails before they cleaned up the meat packing plant and for many years afterwards, including when they developed that area and put in sidewalks and the new bridge by the big cement fish).

    I also liked the route over Star Village and through old Robinsdale. I enjoyed walking all through North Rapid immensely, along Fillmore Street, up to Anamosa, across Fifth street, down to North Street, sometimes over to Milwaukee Street, all the time enjoying the wonderful homes and yards of the North Rapid families in the neighborhoods. I usually walked anywhere from one to two hours on weekdays.

    Now I am out in the boondocks during the week so I no longer walk that often in downtown RC. But it does my heart good to know that you were also walking in the area - maybe I even picked up some political ideas from you through osmosis! I hope you are able to keep up your walking for many years to come.

  17. Douglas Wiken 2014.07.19

    Cyclists need to be aware of reality and the limitations of multi-tasking and concentration on dozens of factors simultaneously. It is much easier for them to see a vehicle and assume that the driver will do something dangerous to the cyclist without even knowing it than it is for the driver to notice the cyclist. As a kid, I always thought we had the same rights on the highway as cars and trucks and busses. I still realize those rights exist, but I now also realize how damn stupid we were for assuming every driver would always see us.

    Cyclists should always have one of those whips with a bright yellow flag waving over their cycles. As Cory indicates, florescent colored clothing also makes sense. I have gotten within only a few feet of walkers and cyclists at night who are wearing matte black clothing. They can almost disappear.

    But, the real solution is elevated walkways and cycle ways that make walking and putzing with bicycles and small electric vehicles safe, efficient, and year around useful. Rapid City would be the ideal place to test the idea.

    I do not see the reason for criminal prosecution of drivers who are not absolutely perfectly observant so long as they are sober or not driving with a dangerous medical condition they are aware of. Every time we get on a highway or sidewalk, we should all be aware of the possibility of crashes that are inevitable simply because of a few seconds of blocked vision or unthinking entry of or bicycle.

  18. Joan Brown 2014.07.19

    One thing that really disturbs me is that my adult mentally handicapped daughter will tell me every now and then when she walks to WalMart on Louise, from the apartment complex across the street from WM, she uses the stop light that is located by Sam's Club, some car will pull out either in front of her or right in back of her from the WalMart drive way. She says some of them even honk at her like she should get out of the way. Believe me she doesn't walk slow, she is always in a hurry. Plus if the driver is observant they can tell she is mentally handicapped.

  19. Deb Geelsdottir 2014.07.19

    It's not unusual for walkers to wait until I, driving, make eye contact with them and nod, before they'll cross in front of me, even though I'm stopped. I feel like I can't be too careful as a driver, and I can always wait to be sure the pedestrian or biker and I are on the same page prior to moving on.

  20. tony 2014.07.20

    I'm am of the opinion that having to wear rose bright colors, transforming myself into a rolling traffic sign is a bit degrading and over the top. But reality states otherwise. Lights, a helmet, and overly defensive riding are a must. It can only be a reality with constant psa's and info sharing. Thanks for the great article!

  21. Deb Geelsdottir 2014.07.20

    I've noticed many bike riders in the yellow reflective vests like road construction workers wear.

  22. JeniW 2014.07.20

    I am one of those people who uses a small electrical vehicle. I do not always use it, but occasionally I do.

    I have learned that the best approach, for me anyway, is to think that drivers of vehicles either do not see me, will ignore me, or guess wrong.

    When I am on the sidewalk, I slow down at driveways, look for traffic coming from the parking lot, from the street coming behind me and in front of me. If it looks like someone is going to turn, I come to a complete stop, then wait for the driver to complete his/her turn. I do this even when the drivers stop for me.

    When crossing the street, even at an intersection controlled by signal lights, I look to the left, right, and the vehicles making a turn. I do this even though the signal light indicates it is time for me to cross. There have been drivers who have made right turns who barely miss hitting me.

    There have been times while walking or using my wheelchair on the sidewalk, someone on a bike will approach from behind me and pass me without warning. That is startling. I always appreciate the bike riders who yell "To your right (or left,)" to let me know they are planning to pass me.

  23. Jerry 2014.07.20

    Then there are those blind spots in vehicles that can obscure like a moving cyclist. Even if you look twice, they can be missed. I would think that there would be a wrongful death civil case though that could be filed, so maybe the little children that were thankfully not in the carrier may have something to help in their lives.

  24. WR Old Guy 2014.07.20

    There are inattentive drivers , bicycle riders, and pedestrians everywhere you go. I drive a commercial passenger vehicle based in Rapid City and travel to all parts of South Dakota and the surrounding states.

    I see drivers running red lights, texting, reading, shaving, putting on makeup, etc. I see bike riders ignoring traffic signals (and have almost hit a few) and having a total disregard for both vehicle and pedestrian traffic. I have also witnessed pedestrians talking on the cell phone, texting, crossing in the middle of the block, (Main St between 5th and 9th St in RC is especially bad for this).

    The bottom line is that everyone needs to pay attention. This is a tragic death but both parties should have been more aware of the situation. I have had more than one instance of checking cross traffic and the sidewalks, starting to pull out into traffic only to have a bike rider "come out of nowhere" and cut in front of me.

    I'm just surprised that there aren't more of these incidents

  25. caheidelberger Post author | 2014.07.20

    Michael, reality also includes the moral responsibility of the drivers of those big vehicles to pay constant attention and drive defensively. Bicycle riders do not create that danger.

    In this case, the driver's responsibility is heightened by the fact that the driver was stopped, then chose to go. The driver did not do sufficient due diligence to execute the maneuver. The driver is at fault. That doesn't warrant the death penalty, but it does warrant some sort of prosecution in which the driver is held accountable and pays for the damage done by the driver's error. (And I'm not convinced that the awful remorse SDTeacher mentions is enough.)

    There can be no moral equivalency between a bicycle rider and an SUV driver. The SUC driver has more power; the SUV driver has more responsibility. Ask Spider-Man's Uncle Ben.

    Douglas makes a good point that we need to address the reality of inattentive drivers in unnecessarily large vehicles with infrastructure. We could all just pay more attention, but since Michael's reality says we're incapable of that, we get to pay the price of building more safety features, like dedicated bicycle lanes, more pedestrian-controlled signals at crossings, and, if not foot/pedal skyways traversing the entire city, at least some elevated overpasses with long, gentle ramps for walkers, bikers, and electric strollers, all paid for at the pump with a few more pennies on the gasoline tax. A higher gas tax would cost a lot less than paying for a stranger's hospital bill, lost wages, funeral, or the emotional pain and suffering of the stranger's family.

  26. larry kurtz 2014.07.20

    my little sister was killed riding her bike on a moody county road by a young man fiddling with his radio: he has never healed from it either.

  27. larry kurtz 2014.07.20

    should any of us heal, cory?

  28. Bill Fleming 2014.07.20

    From a survivalist perspective, I'll have to take issue with Cory here. It's widely known that people driving vehicles are probably not paying attention and that those vehicles have blind spots. Fair or not, this puts the onus on those most vulnerable to pay extra attention, if for no other reason than to preserver their lives. Never assume that just because you legally have the right of way, you're always going to get it. It's hard to tell from the write up what really happened. It sounds as though the collision happened on "the sidewalk" but I suspect it was in an intersection... i.e., on the road. A terrible tragedy to be sure, but one that perhaps couldn't have been avoided given the circumstances.

  29. mike from iowa 2014.07.20

    What about driver's attitudes when they are in heavy traffic with other p/oed drivers? Road rage,anger,retaliation etc. There is very little traffic where I live,but on four way gravel intersections with crops I always slow to a crawl and ease into the intersection. Some idiots barrel through these places without a single look in any direction. I have no desire to become anyone's statistic.

  30. caheidelberger Post author | 2014.07.20

    I'll have to take issue with your taking issue, Bill. Sure, maybe the irresponsibility of others makes it unwise for cyclists to pedal anywhere. Cyclists may have an additional onus (sounds like a medical condition), but that doesn't disperse the onus on drivers to pay more attention than they do and to pay for the harm they cause.

    If a woman chooses to walk into a rough bar wearing heels and a short skirt, does that at all mitigate the moral responsibility bar patrons have not to ignore her personal dignity?

  31. Bill Fleming 2014.07.20

    Of course not, Cory. We all need to pay more attention than we do. My point is, those who are the most vulnerable ahould be the most vigilant. I may heave read you wrong, but it seemed to me you were saying the opposite. In terms of morality, I'm not sure I would make a judgement on either party in this instance until I understood the circumstances better than what has been given here.

  32. caheidelberger Post author | 2014.07.20

    Bill, I think we can make the judgment without more particulars than the SF police captain provides. We have a bike and a big car. The big car is stopped. The big car chooses to go because the big car wants to get into traffic. The big car crunches the bike.

    "The most vulnerable should be the most vigilant." I'm struggling with that line. It is great practical advice. It echoes the advice I give my daughter every time we walk or bike. We have to assume that everyone else around us is stupid, drunk, blind, on the phone, or otherwise less capable of wise decisions and quick reactions than we are. We have to be vigilant and not count on the common sense of those propelling large objects toward us on the road.

    But I hear in that pitch the possible cover that I sense some drivers and car apologists are looking for: cyclists and strollers need to be more vigilant, so it's o.k. for us drivers to me less vigilant. That strikes me as backwards. The operator of the most dangerous equipment has the burden of the greatest vigilance.

    Let me try this analogy: when I walk around with my Swiss Army knife, I have an obligation to keep it sheathed and not let it fall into someone else's hands. When I walk through Main Street Square with my assault rifle, I have an even greater responsibility to pay attention to the orientation of my weapon. The people around me might be prudent not to come too close and risk being in my line of fire if I trip and fall, but my burden of vigilance is still greatest.

    We may just be splitting a philosophical hair: we both believe in personal responsibility. We all believe that everybody on the road needs to watch out for less attentive people.

    But in this case, the cyclist's responsibility is mostly to herself. The driver's responsibility is mostly to others. There perhaps is the crux of my argument against the moral equivalency the Officer VandeKamp and others appear to be casting.

  33. Bill Fleming 2014.07.20

    Good discussion, Cory. Thank you for it. I take your points, and it sounds like you take mine, especially the pragmatic. Good luck getting anyone to listen to either of us. ;-)

  34. WR Old Guy 2014.07.20

    OK Cory,

    Who is at fault when a bicycle rider riding on the sidewalk rides into a controlled intersection against the lights and pedestrian crossing signals? I have had some very close calls lately from bicycle riders in their 20s and thirties that should know better but choose to risk their lives and my well being because the rules of the road don't apply to them. Some are creative in giving the one fingered salute though. At least the commercial vehicle has a dash cam to show who was at fault. I have also been an instructor for various driver safety classes over the years. Riding a bike in an area where you may blend in with the background or not be seen because of other traffic on the sidewalk, requires that you be prepared to stop or take evasive action. I have seen riders in downtown RC cover a block in about 5 seconds. The vehicle driver may have looked and not seen the rider because of the distance and blending in. A bicycle coming toward you has a very narrow profile. Ask any motorcycle rider about making sure you are being seen. That's why many ride with their headlights on.

  35. Chris Francis 2014.07.20

    Something missing from the conversation is the idea of limiting the pedistrian exposure to traffic, especially at intersections and when roadways are far too close to sidewalks. For example, compare Madison and Brookings downtown intersections, Madison has 5 lanes of traffic (2 parking lanes which are used for turns, 2 lanes for straight, and a center turning lane) where as Brookings has created pedistrian bump-outs which restrict the flow of traffic through narrowed lanes, reducing the speed of traffic while reducing the amount of time it takes for walkers to cross the roadway, smart and effective. Look at google maps or visit Brookings and see the difference.

    Madison is also widening 2nd avenue through town by 4 feet, thanks the the state DOT and 1990s perspective, and combined with an already commonly overlooked posted speed limit of 30mph, which is far too high, this main corridor will become a further obstacle for safe pedistrian traffic. The safe and logical choice would be to reduce this roadway, and Washington Avenue, to no more than 3 lanes, creating a green buffer with the excess roadway, making way for a widened sidewalk, and positioning pedistrian bump outs along the roadway for safe crossings, with a lighted sign activated by walkers. Also reducing the posted speed to 20mph through the busiest corridor downtown on 2nd and Washington, and no more than 25mph along the rest of the length, and encouraging passthrough traffic to go around on the established beltway south of town, which will soon see increased hospital traffic and probably more pedistrians too trying to cross, so this route is in itself flawed in time.

    Isn't it great that Madison has just three stop lights? So charming.

  36. Bill Fleming 2014.07.20

    p.s. the philosophical discussion to be had is probably not just hair splitting, Cory. I've touched on it here before on another thread. It's an examination of our notion of "free will."

    Determinism vs compatabilism, and whether or not anything "could have" turned out differently than it actually did.

    Assuming both parties in this accident were behaving precisely as we are advising them to, the accident still could have happened.

    Sometimes the universe just doesn't line up like we want it to.

    And yeah, that seems unjust, but it is what it is.

  37. Douglas Wiken 2014.07.20

    ""The most vulnerable should be the most vigilant." I'm struggling with that line. "

    One can struggle legitimately if "should" is considered a moral imperative. We however all use should in many ways. I don't want to turn the original writers phrase into something it isn't, but I suspect it really means, "The most vulnerable should be most rational about risks related to contact between them and vehicles and thus be very, very careful for their own sakes."

    With a multitude of clowns driving big vehicles, most drivers also in vehicles are keeping an eye on those vehicles and not necessarily looking for a bicyclist or pedestrian which might be in the area at that time once or twice a month. That is reality whether or not it is morally correct in a perfect world.

    I am aware of drunken driving statistics and statistics related to vehicle-deer crashes and vehicle-angus cow crashes. We try to not drive at night for much distance, and we also try not to drive at all late in evenings on Friday and Saturday nights.

    It may be that drivers SHOULD not drive drunk. It is reality that they do. It is rational to adjust our driving behavior in line with those risks. The same is true for bicyclists and pedestrians. This has something to do with stories of elephants dancing with mice.

  38. Deb Geelsdottir 2014.07.20

    Mr. Francis mentioned lights for pedestrians to activate when they want to cross the street at an intersection without a traffic signal. I've been thinking about something similar. In an earlier comment I mentioned the difficulty of seeing pedestrians at unlighted intersections when surrounded by traffic, especially big vehicles.

    My idea is a short term flashing red light. The walker hits the light. When the flashing light has stopped traffic, she begins to cross. The light might last 20+/- seconds. Traffic is not brought to a dead standstill, which would really aggravate drivers, but they'd be able to see the walker and allow her to cross. Also, if ornery people pressed the light just to make drivers angry, they wouldn't have to sit still staring at an empty crosswalk.

    One of the things I'm seeing more frequently on 4 lane and larger streets, is sidewalk corner bump outs and a small, concrete center island for walkers. The island is big enough and well enough marked to provide a refuge for peds. In my ped activated light plan, a post to activate the light would be on the center island so that walkers who didn't get all the way across wouldn't be stranded there.

  39. Chris Francis 2014.07.20

    Right on logic Deb. Making our town streets concrete expressways built for speed and ease for the driver is the absolute wrong direction to take, and fails to adequately provide for diverse means of transportation, and further divides communities into isolated sections. Driving an automobile in 2014 in towns should be somewhat inconvient, a burden, and our roadways should reflect that

  40. mike from iowa 2014.07.20

    Since Henry Ford lit this candle,people have been more and more in a hurry and vehicles enable them to stress out to the max.

  41. WR Old Guy 2014.07.20

    Deb, Rapid City already has some of the flashing lights. The pedestrian pushes a button and pole mounted strobes flash for approximately 30 seconds. I know of three at present. Two are on Fifth street. One is by Regional Hospital and the other is in front of the Cathedral. The one in front of the Cathedral was placed after a pedestrian in his 80s was struck and killed while crossing the street at night. The third is on St Joe in front of the Courthouse. I know there are more out there but I don't recall just where.

    I had a close call this afternoon in downtown Rapid City. I was in the left turn lane at 5th and Main (Main St is 3 lanes one way heading west with diagonal parking). My view of the inside lane was blocked by some parked SUVs. I turned the corner and met a bicycle rider riding east in the middle my lane. He swerved across the other two lanes glaring at me the whole way, crossed 5th street and continued east on the street against traffic.

  42. Douglas Wiken 2014.07.20

    Winner has school crossing lights on the highway through here. Push a button at crosswalk and walk lights go on.

    That causes little in the way of traffic backups in this boondock, but in larger cities, such random stops in heavy traffic flow could cause traffic backups for blocks or miles.

  43. Chris Francis 2014.07.20

    Driving tons of steel through any town should be inconvient, so much so, that we actually consider walking a viable alternative the next time we go out. Want to be part of a safer town? Walk. Want a thriving downtown? Walk. The automobile is the underlying fault of the American city, the sprawling suburbs, the noxious smog, and then consider the economic stress that has been placed upon the public in the form of leasing or owning a car, with high interest rates, taxes, fuel, maintance, all the more factors inhibiting health and wellness. Save the love of the car for the 20th century, we can do better, and we must, as 6 billion of us driving leaves us with only pipelines that burst in our aquifers, oil trains derailing in our neighborhoods, wars on foreign soil, and a climate

  44. Chris Francis 2014.07.20

    Driving tons of steel through any town should be inconvient, so much so, that we actually consider walking a viable alternative the next time we go out. Want to be part of a safer town? Walk. Want a thriving downtown? Walk. The automobile is the underlying fault of the American city, the sprawling suburbs, the noxious smog, and then consider the economic stress that has been placed upon the public in the form of leasing or owning a car, with high interest rates, taxes, fuel, maintance, all the more factors inhibiting health and wellness. Save the love of the car for the 20th century, we can do better, and we must, as 6 billion of us driving leaves us with only pipelines that burst in our aquifers, oil trains derailing in our neighborhoods, wars on foreign soil, and a climate of chaos.

  45. Deb Geelsdottir 2014.07.20

    Chris, big cities are hard at work delivering what people want - more walkable, rideable streets and transit options. Cities are outgrowing suburbs. People are moving out of the burbs and into the cities because they're sick of traffic and long commutes.

    Some are advocating more freeways and more lanes on existing freeways. But roadways will never be able to keep up with growing urban populations.

    Trains in the MN metro are carrying more passengers than expected. The bicycle sharing business here adds more and more bikes every year. Car sharing services, Hour Car and Car 2 Go have all the business they can keep up with.

    If I didn't transport people as part of my work, I'd give my car up. Soooo much cheaper! There is plenty of transit in my neighborhood and when I need to buy groceries or a new TV with all the extra money, I'll use Hour Car. I join for a modest fee, then reserve a car, jump in it and drive off. Piece o' cake!

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