Saturday, February 20, 2016

Proposed Amendment to the Pedestrian Ordinance UPDATED!!!

On Monday, February 22, 2016, Chief Lauth will be providing an overview and clarification of the proposed amendment to the pedestrian ordinance.

I sent an email to the municipality and school district noting the discrepancy concerning the number of pedestrians hit in November 2014. I surmised that the kids will be blamed for getting their numbers wrong. I included a link to an article in The Devils Advocate.

Aaron Lauth responded with:

Ms. Gillen,

Without actually researching the incidents, it would appear that the statistics provided to the Devil's Advocate were for the 12 month period prior to the article being written, rather than since January 1, 2014. Whether the actual number was 14, 11 or 1, it is the opinion of the Mt. Lebanon Police Department that any incidents involving pedestrians being struck by vehicles is too many. When a vehicle weighing 4,000 to 5,000 lbs strikes a person, it rarely turns out good.

To clarify, pedestrian violations are just a small part of the planned comprehensive pedestrian/bicycle/vehicle safety campaign that we will be introducing over the next few months. Our campaign will be heavily focused on educational messages and enforcement efforts directed toward drivers since we know that they play a significant role in keeping our street safe. As part of the educational initiative, we intend to warn, and possibly cite violators when infractions occur that contribute to unsafe conditions, especially for pedestrians and bicyclists. Since more than half of our pedestrian vs. vehicle crashes are typically the fault of the pedestrian, I believe that we have a responsibility to address these violations as well.

A historical analysis of pedestrian vs. vehicle crashes also tells us that most of these incidents are occurring in our urban/business districts. Therefore, the focus of our educational and enforcement efforts, specifically toward improving pedestrian safety, will be the business districts in our community.

The overall goal of our upcoming campaign will be to encourage everyone to contribute to the overall improved safety of our streets. I am hopeful that you and the readers of your blog will be supportive in assisting us to get this message of improved safety out to the community when our campaign is introduced.


Thanks,

Aaron V. Lauth
Chief of Police
Mt Lebanon Police Department
555 Washington Road
Pittsburgh, PA  15228
(412)343-4015
Everyone you meet is fighting a battle you know nothing about.  Be kind.  Always.

Chief Lauth also shared the media release about the February 13, 2016 pedestrian who was hit in a crosswalk on Washington Road

Statement for Vehicle into Pedestrian Reportable Crash, Ref. # 20160265

On Saturday, 13 February 2016 at 1643 hours, a MLPD officer observed an adult female laying on the ground in the left northbound lane on Washington Road at Academy Avenue. His investigation revealed that at approximately 1642 hours this date, a 25-year-old white female was struck by a vehicle while she was in the crosswalk on Washington Road at Academy Avenue. 

The pedestrian reported that she was in the crosswalk on Washington Road at the intersection with Academy Avenue, traveling from the east (odd side) to west (even side) and had the steady walk signal. The driver, who is a 27-year-old white female, was driving a 2012 black Mazda 3, 4 door sedan at the time of the crash. The driver reported that she was on Academy Avenue with a green traffic signal and then made a left turn onto Washington Road going northbound. The driver then struck the pedestrian in the left northbound lane of Washington Road. The driver stated that while she was making the turn, the “A Post” of her vehicle temporarily blocked her view of the crosswalk and she struck the pedestrian. 

The pedestrian sustained only minor injuries, e.g. complained of pain in her right hip, at the scene. She was subsequently taken to UPMC Presbyterian Hospital by MRTSA paramedics for evaluation. The driver was cited, via summons, with PAVC 3113 (a)(1) - Pedestrian Control Signals, for failing to give the right away to a pedestrian when signals are present. 

Aaron Lauth
Chief of Police 
Mt. Lebanon Police Department 

Update February 22, 2016 9:30 AM John Bendel did not realize that this amended ordinance applies to the entire municipality. Technically, I can get cited for jaywalking when I visit my neighbor across the street and not walk two thirds up the street to the cross walk and then walk back down.

As a follow up to our conversation, I contacted our solicitor and police chief regarding the pedestrian ordinance.
>
> As we discussed, there was some confusion on whether the new provisions in the proposed pedestrian ordinance apply to the business districts only (Beverly and Washington rd.) or to the entire municipality. Our solicitor confirmed that the new provisions as written in the ordinance apply to all signalized intersections in the municipality. I wasn't clear on this point.
>
> Below is an excerpt from the police chief's response to my question on this issue.
>
> "Please also consider that this ordinance is just a small part of the planned comprehensive pedestrian/bicycle/vehicle safety campaign that we will be introducing over the next few months. Since the historical statistics for pedestrian vs. vehicle crashes tell us that most of these incidents are occurring in our urban/business districts, the focus of our educational efforts, specifically toward improving pedestrian safety, will be the business districts in our community. In other words, while the ordinance may address all intersections as is required by the statute, our efforts related to pedestrian safety will be focused in areas where we historically see these types of issues.
>
> Just a reminder that this ordinance is not geared toward preventing jaywalking. Existing laws already allow us to enforce jaywalking in urban districts.
>
> Lastly, our larger campaign will also include educational messages and enforcement efforts directed toward drivers since we know that they play a significant role in keeping our street safe. We will encourage everyone to contribute to the overall improved safety of our streets."
>
> I am sorry for any confusion on this matter.
>
> John

6 comments:

Anonymous said...

David Humphreys and David Schraven spoke up against the jaywalking ordinance before:
http://triblive.com/x/pittsburghtrib/news/pittsburgh/s_268590.html

Anonymous said...

David Humphreys was smart. Didn't he move away from Mt. Lebanon?

E. T. Gillen said...

The jaywalking ordinance of 2004 never passed!

From: kmcgill@mtlebanon.org
Date: Mon, 22 Feb 2016 13:59:04 -0500
Subject: Re: Did this ordinance pass in 2004?
To: kfraasch@mtlebanon.org
CC: commission@mtlebanon.org; philip.weis@bipc.com

Good afternoon Kelly,

Ord. Bill No. 10-04 Amending Chapter X. Part 7 (Rights and Duties of Pedestrians) was introduced at the Commission meeting on October 11, 2004 to be considered at the next meeting.

Based on my research of municipal records it did not appear on the next agenda and was never enacted to the best of my knowledge.

Keith

Anonymous said...

In 2004, Truver said the $85 was bad PR because it was too expensive
https://news.google.com/newspapers?nid=1129&dat=20041006&id=y5QmAAAAIBAJ&sjid=AHIDAAAAIBAJ&pg=6828,4318147&hl=en
Now, our Commission is voting for a $300 fine?

E. T. Gillen said...

Here is why it never appeared on the next agenda:

"2004 ... No - the deer became the main issue and Colby, Daley, and Humphries jumped on the Logan kill the deer campaign."

Elaine

Anonymous said...

Daley, too? That weenie.