Over at crosscut, Anthony Robinson has a moving first hand account of the most recent incident of a runaway automobile smashing into Columbia City storefronts. While I agree with his main point, the need to lower speeds, I have to disagree with his conclusion, that the answers are to simply lower the speed limit, increase enforcement, and install bollards. Those steps simply won’t go far enough. Speeders ignore speed limits. Enforcement only works if you have police out every day. While bollards can be useful, a wall of them cluttering up the pedestrian environment because automobile operators can’t be trusted to drive safely is not the answer. There must be physical changes to the roadway itself to alter drivers’ unsafe behavior.
Which brings me to my main point. I strong disagree with the title. Density is not dangerous. I think it might help to remind ourselves that density is nothing more or less than people. And when you have tons of steel moving at high speeds through a lot of people, the people aren’t the danger, the people are in danger.
If you live, work, or play in the Rainier Valley, or you are just passionate about safe streets for all users, please join the Cross “Walk-in” for Safe Streets at the intersection of Rainier Ave. South and S. Ferdinand tomorrow, Friday the 5th, from 4:30-5:30.