A frequent conversation at city hall is about improving neighborhood and downtown walkability. Walkability is good on a lot of fronts -- it increases foot traffic in front of retail locations (which should increase traffic within these retail locations), it decreases the amount of auto traffic on the roadways and it gives the city a vibrant energy with a lot of people walking about.
However, as someone who works downtown and walks regularly, it is not uncommon to be nearly hit by someone in a car who completely pulls into your crosswalk space.
One simple idea to improving the safety of walking is from Fast Company design - -where they have proposed the idea of redesigning crosswalk space to fit the way pedestrians really use it. A side benefit just might be that the new design -- which is wider on the sides -- would also help slow down auto traffic that seems to frequently blow through crosswalks because they are seeking to turn right on red lights and don't slow down through the crosswalk areas (and are too busy looking for oncoming traffic to pay attention to pedestrians).
This is simple, and would cost the city virtually nothing to implement (they have to paint the crosswalk lines anyway). And would likely help improve downtown walkability and the safety of doing so.
Personal note: sorry for the long time between posts. A crazy-busy work schedule followed by a personal vacation caused me to not spend much time posting here recently. I'm back and will increase posting over the next few months.