Categories
Future Building Society Technology

People will keep dying to cars until we decide their safety is more important than cars’ convenience

Replied to The Urbanist’s Ryan Packer Discusses Worsening Traffic Safety Crisis on KUOW by Doug Trumm (The Urbanist)

The pedestrian safety crisis has been worsening in Washington State and across the United States, even as most other industrialized nations have taken strides to reduce their traffic fatality rate in recent years.

Last year, the state saw nearly 150 people walking lose their lives on our streets, a 31.8% increase in one year and the highest figure seen in at least several decades. That trend is not showing any signs of slowing in 2022.

Graph showing a 30% leap in pedestrian fatalities from 2020 to 2021 in Washington State, after a slow increase over a decade

This is a choice we make when we put efficiency and convenience above all else. The design of our roads, the investments we choose to make in infrastructure for people walking and biking, the timing of our traffic signals, the laws we enact, the driver training we require, the penalty for vehicular manslaughter — these all shape how many people die needlessly on our streets.

One of the people killed was an elderly woman in my city who was hit walking in her own neighborhood by someone backing out of their driveway. Since that day, I always back into my driveway so I have a clear view pulling out.

Traffic deaths should be so rare as to be a shocking tragedy, not an everyday occurrence. It infuriates me when people dismiss Vision Zero as unachievable because there will always be one or two people who die in totally random accidents, using pedancy to avoid confronting a real cost of our time-obsessed capitalist society.

These conversations are vital to have now, before self driving cars become common and accepted — what norms of pedestrian deaths will we accept as our cost of convenience? Especially since self driving cars so far cannot accurately identify a person on a bike.

Categories
Getting Shit Done Lifestyle

Live in fullscreen mode

Bookmarked 5 Ways to Simplify Your Life – zen habits by Leo Baubata (zen habits)

Curate your day.
Start living in fullscreen mode.
Weekly clearing ritual.
Eat simple foods & move.
Slow down & enjoy quietude.

Doing one thing at a time – I was thinking recently maybe if I let myself not always be doing chores while I’m cooking or waiting for the kettle to boil or whatever I could let myself rest. I’m too focused on maximizing every minute 🤷‍♀️

I also like his approach to planning a day: “What handful of things would make your day amazing?” For most days:

  • Getting enough sleep
  • Enjoying a cup of tea
  • Avocado toast (or other delicious breakfast)
  • Reading a book
  • Hanging out with friends or my husband
  • Finding some new music
  • Making progress on my book
  • Learning something new

I live a pretty simple life already and try to keep it that way 🤷‍♀️