College student helps make street corner safer for pedestrians

A 19-year-old college student at the University of Florida was recently successful prodding the city of Gainesville to address an unsafe street corner. The corner is reportedly near a bus stop, but has no established crosswalk. Out of concern for the safety of pedestrians, the student contacted the Gainesville City Commission, but received no response. It was only after beginning an online petition that attracted a fair amount of attention that notice was taken at the county level.

The county official to whom the petition was directed noted that, although it isn’t possible to put in a crosswalk at the corner–apparently because the corner does not have the “correct infrastructure”–signs could be placed at the corner indicating a pedestrian crossing. That, at least, is better than nothing and will hopefully improve safety.

Roadway safety is as much of an important issue for pedestrians as it is for motorists. When roadways are not adequately equipped to accommodate pedestrian, unsafe conditions can be created and pedestrians can be harmed.

In cases where a pedestrian is harmed by a motorist, the fault may be not only with the motorist or motorists involved in the crash, but also with public officials who may have failed ensure the safety of pedestrians. Cases where public authorities or agencies are responsible for a pedestrian accident and can be held accountable are not frequent, but it is important for an injured pedestrian to explore the possibility with a skilled attorney when preparing their case, since it could constitute another avenue of recovery.

Source: The Independent Florida Alligator, UF student leads pedestrian warning-sign initiative Emily Cardinali, July 1, 2014.