Saturday, December 21, 2013

Car vs Pedestrian Accident Town Center

 Scene is well lit but wet

Amherst and State Police are still on scene in the heart of downtown Amherst investigating a car vs pedestrian accident that sent two victims to area hospitals the more serious to Bay State Critical Care unit in Springfield and the other minor injury, said to be a female child, taken to Cooley Dickinson Hospital in Northampton for an arm injury.

The accident occurred around 6:45 PM in between Brueggers Bagels and Ren's Mobile on North Pleasant Street, just past the intersection with Kellogg Avenue.  There is no crosswalk where the car stopped.

Mass State PD accident reconstruction team on scene


Anonymous said...

This is terrible! I hope that the injured will both be okay. I used to see police on that section of North Pleasant regularly making sure that cars stopped for pedestrians at the crosswalks. They'd pull them over if they didn't. I haven't seen the police there lately.

Anonymous said...

This incident did not happen at a crosswalk.
My thoughts go out to the two individuals that were struck as well as the car driver.
Lots of serious accidents recently- Be careful out there!

Anonymous said...

Hmm, here's a concept, cross the street at a crosswalk, at a traffic light, and cross it when the pedestrian light is on. Pedestrians may have the right of way but that doesn't mean they are visible.

Anonymous said...

Here's another concept -- ban women drivers...

Larry Kelley said...

Wow, my very own troll.

Dr. Ed said...

Call me all the names you wish, but you all might want to consider the fact that asphalt pavement can be very slippery when wet (it is, after all, oil, and the paint badly exacerbates this.

Throw in the fact that while they are downright ugly, the "gooseneck" style streetlights are the absolute best at directing light down at the pavement so that people can see what is in the road -- and soon enough to have time to stop the vehicle if necessary.

The pole lights might make the downtown look nicer, but they not only don't put as much light onto the road but tend to be blinding as well. As do Green traffic lights, particularly the LED ones.

So Amherst has made two things worse -- an inherently slippery road surface made moreso by putting paint all over it, and inherently low visibility made moreso by the trendy lights.

Throw in dark clothing and things get downright dangerous. Throw in the mistaken belief that a car actually can stop, let alone will try to, and you have a tragedy in the making...

Walter Graff said...

I have almost hit numerous people on streets in this area due to poor lighting along with them wearing dark clothes. Just the other day in daylight at Amherst College someone crossed and blended in with the background and I didn't see the till the last second.

Part of the problem is that this state requires you to yield for pedestrians. But most pedestrians I see use the law as their right of way without signalling to me any intent. They just cross the street thinking that is their right. Add a dark wet street, loudly LED lighting this town installed to save the earth, and these folks not even crossing at the crosswalk and you have a accident waiting to happen.

Anonymous said...

You're right.

Anonymous said...

My New Year's Resolution:

Read the posts.
Ignore the comments.

In other words, the same amount of Larry (he's earned it) and no more of Ed.

Dr. Ed said...

My New Year's Resolution is simple:

Amherst Delenda Est.

Anonymous said...

Hey 9:01 Coward -- stand in front of me on a rainy night and ignore me.

Can you say "hood ornament"?

Anonymous said...

I fully trust that Ed would follow through on his threat to commit vehicular homicide.

Personally, I say screw the jaywalking ban, it's every man and woman for him or herself out there.

Dr. Ed said...

I fully trust that Ed would follow through on his threat to commit vehicular homicide.

Naah... on second thought, I don't want to have to bang out the dent.

And for what it's worth, I was trying to make a point about safety, something that trancends the visceral hatred some have for me -- and I'll go further: all this "traffic calming" and "pedestrian safety" stuff is actually making the problems WORSE.

I'd like to see someone take a 30/40 year study of the statistics -- the number of pedestrians hit in Amherst since, say, 1970 or 1980 -- and is the number of injured and severity if injuries (including fatal) higher now or then?

It sure seems like more pedestrians are getting hit NOW than did in the 1990's. If this is true, then WHY?

Dr. Ed said...

One other thing -- while there are a lot more pedestrians and a lot more vehicles in Boston, there *aren't* a whole lot more pedestrian/vehicle mishaps.

Why? Could it be that the Boston pedestrians have no expectation that a vehicle will stop for them, and hence exercise a great deal more caution? And if that's true, are we actually making places like Amherst more dangerous to pedestrians with our well-intended efforts at safety?

Anonymous said...

Do I have "visceral hatred" for that mosquito flying in my ear in the darkness of a hot August night?

Mark Kaepplein said...

Some explanation of poor pedestrian behavior here:

Millions of years of human evolution have wired a survival rule into the primative bran: "If I can see him, he can see me." This was pretty much true, day or night for millions of years. Then came artificial lighting. The rule still works during the day, but not at night anymore. Pedestrians can see vehicles with reflectors and lights on, but the drivers don't see them, leading to mis-perception by pedestrians and outrage that drivers didn't see them. The hardwired rule needs to be overcome with educating pedestrians and encouraging them to wear light/reflective clothing at night.

The inverse rule would be:"I don't see him, so he can't see me." This too has to be overcome with education, teaching kids to close their shades at night before undressing. Again people are outraged when the hard-wired rule is violated when learning someone they didn't see could see them.

Anonymous said...

Do I have "visceral hatred" for that mosquito flying in my ear in the darkness of a hot August night?

Ed is sometimes entertaining (albeit unintentionally), sometimes irritating, usually of no consequence whatsoever, but always, always, always completely oblivious and lacking in self-awareness and the ease with which he can be wound up -- not unlike the Village Idiot of yore.

He'll scoff and dismiss that assessment, of course. He's got a Ph.D.! (And is doing what with it, exactly?) He's writing a book! (But, curiously for someone who's never learned to shut up, has yet to share a single page of it with us.) He's gonna subpoena our IP addresses and sue us all! (My lawyer is standing by.)

Dr. Ed said...

A followup on Mark's comment -- if anyone is (a) well intended and (b) attempting to help a truck back up, if you can't see the driver's *EYES* in one of the side mirrors, the driver can't see you.

The ideal place to stand is about 10 feet behind the back bumper of the truck and about 3-4 feet to the side -- and walk backwards with the truck. If the truck is turning, you want to be on the inside of the turn because that's the place the driver is putting the vehicle -- knowing that the size of the vehicle is fixed and the rest of it will come along.

If at all possible (and permitted), an experienced driver will always back to the left because you are backing into space you can see -- you may have to open the driver's door and stick your head out, but you can physically see that there is nothing there.

If you back to the right, you are backing into your blind spot and even if you got out of the truck and physically walked the entire distance you intend to back it (which you should), that doesn't mean that there isn't a kid there now, nor that you didn't misjudge the height of branches, building overhangs and whatnot.

Or that the pavement isn't collapsing under the weight of your truck -- which you *can* see backing to the left and instead of paying for an entire parking lot or driveway, you're only paying for a little pothole. (In older cities, there often are abandoned and long-forgotten coal scuttles (storage areas) under the sidewalks -- built a century ago when the heaviest truck (or ox-drawn wagon) was the weight of today's SUV -- and the maintenance on things people don't even know about isn't all that good.

Hence, even though you have to cross an oncoming lane of traffic (or potential traffic) if the street/road/whatever is 2-way, it is a lot safer to back to the left. Further, the 8-10-12 feet of the oncoming traffic lane is additional space that is quite helpful if you are trying to back into a narrow driveway.

But do not ever think that a driver is able to see you. The visibility is so limited that if you can't see his/her/its *eyes*, you aren't being seen -- and even then, that doesn't mean that the driver is actually looking where you are...