Seconds before waiting for a pedestrian with her head buried in a phone to walk by my driveway this morning, I heard a story on Oregon Public Broadcasting regarding Tri-Met's new pedestrian warning system. With the help of a $400,000.00 grant, the transit agency will test several different warning devices in an effort to warn pedestrians of oncoming buses.
Apparently, distracted walking is becoming a major issue. Our most recent newsletter featured a story on this very topic. An Ohio State University study showed that emergency room visits related to using a cell phone while walking have doubled from 2005 to 2010.
The pedestrian issue is alive and well in Astoria, where city officials recently abandoned an attempt to reduce pedestrian injuries with the use of "pedestrian flags." That effort failed, but the challenges of pedestrian safety remain.
At a certain point, people simply need to look where there going, whether it is walking down the street or driving through town.