This month the topic of our meeting was related to pedestrian safety, especially in the proximity of zebra crossings. Our special guest was Jacek Grunt-Meyer from the University of Warsaw.
The meeting was held nearby Piotrkowska Street, where during a recent renovation raised pedestrian crossings were introduced. This means that the sidewalk is on the same level as the crossing and that cars have to drive over an elevated part of the road. Many guests attended the meeting. Among them were representatives of the Łódź Police Departament, Roads and Transportation Office and City Council. The main guest was of course Jacek Grunt-Mejer, who is a PhD student at the University of Warsaw and a cognitive psychologist. He presented his opinion on Łódź and shared his reflections on the state of polish pedestrian infrastructure planning. “Technical acceptance / commissioning is simply not functioning properly when it comes to inspecting pedestrian infrastructure” – said Grunt-Mejer.
Grunt-Mejer also responded to the issue concerning pedestrian safety - the unprotected traffic participants. According to him speeding is the most significant problem. “There is no public shame or ostracism against those who exceed the speed limit”. “Pedestrians are motivated to take precautions on the road, because they may lose their life”. This is why Grunt-Mejer is convinced that “If we want to improve pedestrian safety we cannot punish pedestrians”. This way he summarized numerous police campaigns known under the name “Safe Pedestrian”, which are simply restricted to fining pedestrians. “We ought to ask the police to switch their attention from pedestrians to drivers” – he summarized.