The Associated Press's fine transportation writer, Joan Lowy, reports on the phenomenon of distracted walking.
The cases include a 24-year-old woman who walked into a telephone pole while texting; a 28-year-old man who was walking along a road when he fell into a ditch while talking on a cellphone; a 12-year-old boy who was looking at a video game when he was clipped by a pickup truck as he crossed the street; and a 53-year-old woman who fell off a curb while texting and lacerated her face.
One 67-year-old man walking along the side of a road was hit a by a bicyclist who was talking on a cellphone as he rode. The pedestrian injured a knee.
Though overall traffic deaths were lower in 2010 than the year before, pedestrian fatalities rose by 4.2 percent and injuries by 19 percent, according to the latest data available from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration. It's not clear how many of the pedestrian deaths and injuries involved cellphones and other electronics because police often don't collect that information.
Here's an earlier Post-Gazette report on the problem.
Atlanta-area voters have endorsed gridlock, rejecting a $7.2 billion transportation improvement plan that would have added a penny to the sales tax. The Atlanta Journal-Constitution reports:
The defeat of the 10-year, 1 percent sales tax leaves the Atlanta region's traffic congestion problem with no visible remedy. It marks failure not only for the tax but for the first attempt ever to unify the 10-county region's disparate voters behind a plan of action.
"Let this send a message," said Debbie Dooley, a tea party leader who early on organized opposition to the T-SPLOST tax measure. "We the people, you have to earn our trust before asking for more money."
The "message" might be that anti-tax zealots would rather be stuck in traffic and see their region decline than part with a few bucks. Full AJC story is here.
Coming up this weekend: another full closure of the inbound Squirrel Hill Tunnel; a major traffic shift on Route 28; and more restrictions for paving on Banksville Road. Details to come.
On Thursday, dignitaries including Gov. Tom Corbett will dedicate the newly opened Uniontown-to-Brownsville section of the Mon-Fayette Expressway. A procession of classic cars will cross the new $96 million bridge over the Monongahela River.
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