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Absurd “Pedestrian Safety Kit” Highlights the Perils of Walking in America

2:16 PM PDT on April 29, 2015

All the equipment you need to take a walk in your neighborhood without dying, for $49.95! Image: Streets.mn
All the equipment you need to take a walk in your neighborhood, ideally without dying, for $49.95! Image: Streets.mn
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Given how fundamental walking is to our humanity and our health, it's sad to see how marginalized pedestrians have become in our transportation system.

How absurd is it that the simple act of walking would require special equipment, with the onus for safety placed on the most vulnerable? Nathaniel Hood at Network blog Streets.mn says this attitude is apparent in the Minneapolis area, where he lives, even from those who advocate for more walking.

The City of Robbinsdale’s Mayor Regan Murphy has officially proclaimed May as “Step To It” Month. Robbinsdale joins communities in Hennepin County that aim to encourage residents to live healthier lifestyles and record their movements.

Read the Full Proclamation here.

To win this friendly competition, residents are going to have to walk, walkwalk! But, it’s recommended by the Mayor that residents be safe by carrying a flashlight, wearing reflective clothing, making full eye contact with drivers, carrying a form of identification, and walking defensively.

Always remember to be mindful of drivers who are inattentive, texting, drinking, and/or speeding. Remember: cars have the right-of-way, even if State law says otherwise. Always be on alert, because distracted walking is dangerous walking. Walking the streets of Robbinsdale is dangerous, you NEED top-notch gear!

That's why Hood recommends the $50 "pedestrian safety kit." Says Hood: "You might look ridiculous, but it’s better than being dead or having drivers slow down or designing our streets and places for people."

Elsewhere on the Network today: Human Transit wonders if privately operated "micro transit," like Bridj, is good or bad for cities. Rebuilding Place in the Urban Space says the amenities arms race continues to drive up costs in the DC housing market. And the Dallas Morning News Transportation Blog reports Republicans are actually more likely than Democrats to oppose the wasteful Trinity Toll Road.

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