(Courtesy Google)
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A person walking along Terry Road in Pleasure Ridge Park this month was hit and killed by a motorist. James H. Dennison Jr., 59, was walking a quarter mile from his home on the 6700 block of Fenway Road when he was struck at around 7:30p.m.

(Courtesy Google)
(Courtesy Google)

The motorist, who has not been identified, was driving a silver Toyota SUV south on the 8200 block of Terry Road. WHAS11 reported that Dennison was walking in the southbound lane, the side of the street that led to his house, but also the side with no sidewalks.

The crash was reported by WAVE3 (follow-up), WDRB (follow-up), WLKY, and WHAS11. WLKY played the victim-blaming game by noting Dennison’s fashion choices as a reason for establishing fault.

speed-fatality-rate-chart-02

speed-fatality-rate-chart-01

The speed limit on this stretch of Terry Road is 45 mph, which means any collision with a vehicle going that speed would likely be fatal.

As these charts illustrate, being hit at such a speed carries a 90 percent fatality rate. That rate drops significantly as speed is reduced. Such high speeds also decrease motorist visibility of their surroundings and increase the time needed to brake.

(Courtesy Google)
(Courtesy Google)

Given that this is a predominantly residential street with houses lining the road—and Sanders Elementary School a few dozen feet from the crash site—such a street design is a tragedy waiting to happen.

No charges are expected to be filed.

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Branden Klayko

Branden Klayko

Founder and Editor at Broken Sidewalk
Branden founded Broken Sidewalk in 2008 while practicing architecture in Louisville. He continued the site for seven years while living in New York City, returning to Louisville in 2016. Branden is a graduate of the College of Architecture at Washington University in St. Louis, and has covered architecture, design, and urbanism for The Architect's Newspaper, Designers & Books, Inhabitat, and the American Institute of Architects.
Branden Klayko

4 COMMENTS

  1. These articles on pedestrian fatalities are excellent. Hopefully other news outlets in Louisville will start to follow suit, and start to provide context and refrain from the casual victim blaming.

  2. Branden: I like your website, but your anti-driver crusade is getting old. I drive this particular stretch of road every day to get to my office. It is a major automobile artery, not a a neighborhood cul-de-sac. Like many of the streets and suburbs around town that were designed for cars, traffic typically flows from 35-50 miles per hour. A pedestrian stepping into traffic must use caution. Unfortunately, every day I witness pedestrians dangerously walking and running into traffic. Some are teens and some are adults. Many seem to be completely oblivious to the traffic. People walk out in front of my car every week, and my co-workers regularly mention the same issue. The vast majority of Louisville prefers to commute and shop in personal vehicles. The suburbs, where many of us choose to live and work, are set up that way. Slowing traffic on East Market Street for pedestrians makes sense, but attempting to impose that on important suburban thoroughfares is foolish and it runs counter to the transportation needs of the vast majority. Maybe your pedestrian crusade should go in a slightly different direction. It might be more helpful to stress that people should simply look both ways before crossing the street!

  3. At the very least, there should be a zone where cars are required to slow down near the elementary school.

  4. There is a reduced speed school zone where there is a crossing guard in place in the mornings and at dismissal. It was not an elementary student that was hit and it is not young children that are ignoring the traffic.

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