Yet another pedestrian / cyclist tragedy in Rochester.

Many detail have yet to be released, but one has to ask how does someone hit and run 2 separate groups of people a few minutes apart?  My deepest sympathies to the victims and their families.

As always the post bulletin has done a good job covering this here and here.  What particularly disturbs me is this:

The suspect is Christopher Allen Trautman, of Oronoco. He was arrested about 20 minutes after a car struck a 23-year-old woman and a 30-year-old man who were walking along Broadway at Center Street, shortly after midnight, according to police. The driver of the car got out and ran from the scene. Minutes earlier, the same car had struck two men, ages 23 and 22, who were walking on Broadway at Fourth Street Southeast. The 23-year-old man died a short time later at Saint Marys Hospital in Rochester, police said. The deceased man was from Rochester.

I don’t Know Trautman, but a criminal history check on Christopher A. Trautman, and 32, of Oronoco DOB 01/09/1978 shows a couple of convictions.  He was convicted of Domestic Assult and Disorderly Conduct – Fighting.  Innocent until proven guilty, and then after he is found guilty, he will probably be driving within 10 years.  This is the perfect example of someone that should never have the right to drive again after being found guilty.

There is no perfect solution for dealing with bad drivers, but there is alot we can do to make our streets safer.  The City of Rochester has taken steps with our complete streets policy, however we still have left streets like 16th St SE unsafe for pedestrians and cyclists because of irrational fears.  We had a chance to reduce an uninterrupted 48 ft. kill zone with excessive speeding to a 22 ft. kill zones with a safe refuge and more moderated speeds.  We chose not to.  As I state during this debate.  If a pedestrian gets hit at 45 MPH the probably die, if they get hit at 25 MPH they probably live.

Some might be surprised that I have in my possession a petition sighed by more than 100 citizens and businesses downtown to improve the safety in this stretch (specifically Broadway and 3rd Street South.  The credit for doing this work goes to my friend and Fontaine Towers resident Linda Kelly.  To truly make this stretch safe will require a redesign and a change in purpose.

  • US-63 needs to be rerouted around Rochester.  It should leave Broadway at Highway 52 and reconnect to the existing US-63 via 75th Street NW.
  • Broadway can then be redesigned is an Urban Complete Street with a design speed of 20-25 MPH.
  • Left turn movements should be greatly restricted in the downtown core.  This will allow for pedestrian safety landing mid-street.
  • Pedestrian crossing should feature bump outs at most intersections downtown.  This combined with proper 11 ft. lanes means that pedestrians will only have to cross 22 ft. at the most with out a safe landing.
  • Implementation of the proposed downtown bicycle lanes and connections will serve to keep cyclists both visible and safe.

5 comments

  1. You gotta get off the cool aid, 60th and 65th routing is difficult to imagine within the foreseeable future given money shortages. Moving to to west circle drive seems to me to be a short term solution, as well as being shorter for the trucks, Adding a lane where necessary on 22 would b much cheaper than the whole rebuild and new interchanges that would be necessary to your proposed route. I assume that you know the answer to this but what is the traffic count, local vs through, on bdwy?

  2. Cool Aid? Time to upgrade the reading lenses… 🙂 The esisting infrastructure on US 52 and 75th Street NW are already there, save for the intersection at the existing US 63. Not sure on the traffic counts, but I will be checking into this shortly.

  3. I do know Chris Trautman…I know him quite well..This is a very sad situation-For chris family as well..he is an alcoholic and a drug addict who has struggled for many years to stay sober..I am still in shock and have a lot of mixed feelings..I am so sorry to the familys of those who got hurt. I will be praying for them as well as Chris.

  4. OK, you have cheap alternative, which was not spelled out in the posting, to what I have heard discussed for years for 63. Even posting your route as an alternative or truck route might encourage folks in the short term, by the way I hear that a traffic circle could be in the offing for 63 and 75th. lot cheaper than a interchange.

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