Woman Hit by Car While Walking

A woman was taken to the hospital in an ambulance after she was hit by a car while walking in a crosswalk on Main Street in Keene on July 1. Ashley Raymond is 19 years old. Police have the name of the driver who hit her.

Also on July 1, the Brattleboro selectboard voted to spend about $70,000 to improve the safety of the intersection of Western Avenue and Union Street, where a pedestrian was killed by a car on December 6, 2013. The money will be used to slow down cars by making both streets narrower. Both streets have sidewalks.

One of the crosswalks at the intersection is now 80 feet long. It will be reduced to about 43 feet. Bicylce lanes will be added on both sides of Western Avenue, which is also Vermont Route 9. Vermont Route 9 becomes New Hampshire Route 9, which connects Keene and Brattleboro. The work should be done this year.

In Burlington, Vermont, automobiles are banned from the main street downtown. A photo is at:

www.churchstmarketplace.com/imagecatalogue/image/list/1933

(Scroll to the bottom of the page and click the last photo to enlarge it.)

As of December, 2013, four pedestrians had been killed by cars in Brattleboro in the previous 24 months. About 12,000 people live in Brattleboro.

According to the city of Cambridge, Massachusetts web site, “Traffic calming is a way to design streets, using physical measures, to encourage people to drive more slowly, in order to provide a more livable environment and allow people to walk and bicycle more comfortably and safely.... The reason traffic calming is such a powerful and compelling tool is that it has proven to be so effective. Some of the effects of traffic calming, such as fewer and less severe crashes, are clearly measurable. Others, such as supporting community livability, are less tangible, but equally important.”

That quote is at this web page:

www.cambridgema.gov/CDD/Transportation/design/trafficcalming.aspx

According to the history of the San Francisco Bicycle Coalition at www.SFbike.org, the group's “biggest victory in the 1990s were the bicycle lanes on Valencia Street, supported by the Board of Supervisors despite a Department of Parking & Traffic Director who declared 'there will be bike lanes on Valencia Street over my dead body.'"

According to www.TransAlt.org, “Transportation Alternatives’ mission is to reclaim [New York] city’s streets from the automobile, and to promote bicycling, walking, public transit and better traffic enforcement across the five boroughs. T.A.’s 100,000 active supporters and five Activist Committees work to bring safety improvements like protected bike lanes, dedicated bus lanes and pedestrian safety islands to our city’s streets.”

The Vermont Bicycle and Pedestrian Coalition, a lobbying group, has a web site at www.VtBikePed.org.

For Massachusetts: www.massbike.org

In New Hampshire: www.bwanh.org

Brattleboro is the biggest town in southeastern Vermont. Cars are a major cause of climate change, which scientists say is a threat to human life on earth. Walking reduces obesity.

Obesity is the cause of about 18 percent of all deaths in the United States, according to a study published last year in the American Journal of Public Health. Obese people get many diseases that others don't. These diseases are expensive to treat. For obese people without health insurance, the cost is paid by taxpayers.

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