Many motorists have neither patience nor tolerance for pedestrians, with 2010 Tucson Police Department statistics showing seven pedestrians hit and killed by vehicles and 210 hit and injured, with 52 of them hit and runs. Statistics from 2011 are even worse, with at least 16 pedestrians killed by vehicles and 220 injured, with a total of 71 hit and runs.
Man versus car does not fare well for the man.
All that could soon change, at least in a little pocket of town, with Mayor Jonathan Rothchild’s revival of a long-dead proposal of making Congress Street open to pedestrians only. The proposal was shot down in the past, and may be again because it still has one big problem: it’s much too limited.
Shutting off Congress to traffic will only make the die-hard drivers shuttle their vehicles to the surrounding streets, making them more clogged up and blocked than they already are. To truly benefit from transforming any downtown area into a pedestrian-only jubilee, the proposal needs to go the whole hog to get rid of road hogs and make all of downtown vehicle-free.