UA grad student seeks public opinion on cycling, pedestrian safety

UA grad student seeks public opinion on cycling, pedestrian safety

TUCSON, AZ (Tucson News Now) - A graduate student with the University of Arizona College of Public Health is taking a look at the public's opinion on whether or not a reduced speed limit would make it safer for cyclists and pedestrians.

Krista Hansen is working with the city of Tucson bicycle and pedestrian program to gather data through an online survey.

Other cities such as Portland and Seattle have passed legislation changing the speed limit on certain roads to 20 mph to make it safer for those walking and biking, Hansen said.

The survey will address whether or not the public thinks a reduced speed limit is a viable option for the city, she said.

"If you're driving 30 miles an hour down the road and a child runs in front of you, three car lengths in front of you ... do you have time to stop? The answer is no. You will hit the child at 27 miles an hour. If you were driving 20 miles an hour and a child runs out in front of you three car lengths, do you have time to stop? The answer is yes," Hansen said.

Two cyclists died on the northwest side on Thursday, March 3. Another cyclist was injured following a crash on the east side on Saturday, March 5. In 2015, the Tucson Police Department investigated 14 pedestrian deaths, and four cyclist deaths.

Tucson News Now asked cyclists and pedestrians whether they thought a reduced speed limit would make a difference.

Cyclist Madison Daniels said while she feels relatively safe while on her bike, a reduced speed limit wouldn't hurt.

"I would hope that cars going at a slower rate would mean they would be driving more attentively, and I would approve of the speed being reduced," Daniels said.

But Pedestrian Lane Lowry said she doesn't think it would make much of a difference.

"It is kind of scary with the cars because they're going to do what they want. The 5 miles an hour difference doesn't make a huge difference to me," she said.

Links to the survey:

The survey runs until March 18.

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