During the June 2016 City Planning Commission meeting Kathleen Krager gave an extensive presentation on why she must narrow Cascade Avenue before students return in the fall. Keep in mind that at the time of this meeting, Cascade through Colorado College had seen:
- No fatalities
- Extraordinarily few pedestrian collisions
- A decrease in pedestrian collisions in recent years
You can read more about the data here.
Despite this information, Krager and Commission Chair Eric Phillips had this exchange:
Phillips: The need to do this now is because of the safety…
Krager: It is.
Phillips: …of our children, if it’s one or two, or someone that’s injured a little bit or killed. We need to get this done now for the safety of the children.
Krager: As a traffic engineer, and I’ve been doing it for 39 years now, I can’t tell you how many times I’ve heard people stand at a podium like this and say “How many children must die?” or “How many people must be injured?” I cannot possibly look at the statistics of accidents and say “Oh, it’s not a problem.” When we have a fatal accident in Colorado Springs, I am called out to that accident site to look at the fatality. It’s a very serious job. And for every fatality we have, I’m looking at the roadways to see if there’s something that can be done about it.
I remember when she said “How many children must die?” and I thought “You mean more…than zero?” Her speech would have made more sense if she were referring to narrowing a road that had actually been shown to be dangerous. The obvious example would have been Nevada Avenue. Even at the time of this meeting, and still today, there has been a group of citizens specifically trying to get the City to address the dangers of Nevada Ave–where there actually have been fatalities in recent years. In fact if anything narrowing Cascade likely makes Nevada more dangerous. Yet Krager used the spectre of pedestrian death to try to change not Nevada, but Cascade. Makes it a little hard to believe the City is forcing road narrowing on us out of a deep concern for our safety.
Watch Krager’s comments here: