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
Society

A Different Perspective on Road Design

Watched Traffic Calming is Everywhere in the Netherlands by Not Just Bikes from youtu.be

The most amazing thing about traffic calming in the Netherlands is just how ubiquitous it is. From city centre to suburb, from large city to small village, traffic calming is everywhere in the Netherlands.

Patreon: https://www.patreon.com:443/notjustbikes
Twitter: https://twitter.com/notjustbikes
Reddit: https://www.reddit.com/r/notjustbikes

Level of Service animation:
https://www.parleyseis.com/

Sustainable Saftey:
https://sustainablesafety.nl/
https://nl.wikipedia.org/wiki/Duurzaam_Veilig
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5aNtsWvNYKE

Traffic Calming Strategies images from:
https://globaldesigningcities.org/publication/global-street-design-guide/designing-streets-people/designing-for-motorists/traffic-calming-strategies/

A totally different starting point, revealing what our society cares about: speed at all costs. The Netherlands starts from a perspective of “sustainable safety” – the idea that humans will make mistakes so we design to make it easy to do the right thing.