By Zen Vuong, August 8, 2013
A lady talks on the phone
while pushing a stroller across Colorado Blvd at Fair Oaks Ave. The U.S.
Department of Transportation said the number of pedestrian deaths has
been on the rise in the last two years.
PASADENA - For the most part police officers don't ticket pedestrians walking under the influence of a mobile device.
An estimated 2 million injuries each year are the result of walking
and talking, texting or fiddling with a cellphone, according to a study
authored by Jack Nasar, a professor of city and regional planning at
Ohio State University.
It's Nasar's third study of what he calls "distracted walking."
"When talking on a cellphone, you have distracted attention," Nasar
said. "While your body may be in the environment, your head is somewhere
else. When texting, your eyes aren't even in the environment."
For his most recent study, Nasar's team of researchers analyzed six
years of data from the National Electronic Injury Surveillance System.
The system samples injury reports from 100 U.S. hospitals.
found that people under 30 -- especially males -- were more prone to
cellphone-related injuries. The study will be published in Accident
Analysis & Prevention journal.
Additionally, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration
reported that about 4,430 pedestrians were killed in traffic crashes in
2011, an 8 percent increase since 2009.
As a result of its findings, the U.S. Department of Transportation
announced Monday it is offering $2 million to 22 of the nation's most
deadly cities for pedestrians.
Among the worst: Los Angeles, San Francisco,
The distribution of funds was part of a larger allocation of $487 million in funds to 82 construction projects aimed at improving transportation, safety and mobility throughout the state.
The Orange County Transportation Authority will
receive $39.51 million to construct a rail overpass of BNSF tracks at
Lakeview Avenue in Placentia. This project is designed to eliminate
potential collision points and reduce traffic congestion, while
improving the movement of goods.
The San Bernardino Associated Governments
will use the $8.85 million in funds it received for a grade separation
project in Barstow, segregating BNSF's line from Lenwood Road. The
elimination of the grade crossing will lessen the impact of freight
movement in the community, remove potential vehicular and train traffic
conflicts and improve air quality since gate down time will be
eliminated along with idled traffic.
Both grade separation fund allocations are contingent upon approval
of a budget revision by the California Department of Finance.
The third rail project to receive funds is the Richmond Rail Connector. The Metropolitan Transportation Commission
will receive $10.88 million to construct an at-grade rail connector
between San Pablo and Richmond on BNSF's Stockton Subdivision and Union
Pacific's Martinez Subdivision. The project will improve freight
movement to and from the Port of Oakland by allowing BNSF trains access
to UP's Martinez Subdivision rather than have the trains travel through
the city of Richmond to access the port.