So Close, Yet So Far

Thursday 12 March 2009

I swore off making fun of newspaper columnists a long time ago, but this one’s too good to let pass by. Sue Sharp, head of Guide Dogs Public Policy and Campaigns, has an opinion piece in The Guardian decrying proposed changes to London’s pedestrian crossings (I’ve added my own emphasis):
… plans to introduce “speedy street crossings” in London to free up traffic will seriously undermine the mobility of blind and partially sighted pedestrians in London.
Under these proposals, the amount of crossing time for pedestrians will be cut by up to six seconds, and there will be a reduced number of green man phases. As pedestrians walk at an average speed of 1.2m per second, such a reduction in crossing time could potentially leave them 7.2m short of the kerb when the light goes green to traffic, and more if they have a slower walking pace than the average.
If the metrics confuse you, here are some people under two metres tall walking at an average pace on a typical London street crossing: