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.

Art and Design

Tree sculptures by John Grade

Liked John Grade (

Inspired by changing geological and biological forms and systems in the natural world, John works with his studio team to sculpt immersive large-scale, site-specific installations. Kinetics, impermanence and chance are often central to the work.

wooden sculpture of cast hemlock tree hanging sideways in art gallery
Middle fork by John Grade

This piece is extremely cool looking — and even cooler that it’s from the Middle Fork, a place that’s really important to me and my husband.

The dedication it took to make this piece happen! He and a team cast a plaster mold of the original tree in situ!

looking up into carved out stump of a burned huge sequoia trunk, with divots carved through and black burned patches
Coalition by John Grade

I really like the hollow, perforated format, the raw wood form of his pieces. On Coalition it’s like the natural decay of beetle holes, but manmade. On Middle Fork it’s like a weaving, making me think of fish weirs and the local Snoqualmie tribe (even though Snoqualmie Falls is a natural fish passage barrier to the Middle Fork).

Future Building

We Need to See What It Would Take

Bookmarked Draft Regional Transportation Plan Could Fall Far Short on Climate Goals by Ryan Packer (

Early next year, the Puget Sound Regional Council (PSRC), the region’s four-county planning agency, will release a draft of the update to its Regional Transportation Plan, which unfortunately does not appear to be a climate-focused document. Updated every four years, the plan outlines shared priorities around transportation, many of which are driven by VISION 2050, the agency’s regional housing and employment growth plan. This update to the Regional Transportation Plan will extend the plan’s timeline from 2040 to 2050 to align with that growth plan, which was adopted in 2020.

PSRC’s current President, King County Councilmember Claudia Balducci, raised the issue at an October meeting, noting that PSRC had signed onto a goal to get to 95% by 2050, and asking for at least one version of the plan to be considered that could achieve those reductions. “I do think we need to have in front of us an option that shows us what it would look like to meet our climate goals, and we can decide we’re not ready for that and figure out how we get there some other way, but I think we have to, with a straight face, look ourselves in the Zoom box and say ‘this is what it’s going to really take’.

Art and Design Outdoors

Three Shots of the Same Mountain

Watched Winter Landscape Photography & Aerials by Scott Kranz from

After record snowfall in the Cascade Range, I step into the backcountry for a ski tour to capture some winter landscape images and drone aerials of the surrounding mountains and forest.


Three shots taken at the same spot on the same trip with dramatically different lighting. Really cool to see all three side by side to recognize how much the light changed over a short time and what a difference it makes in the feel of the shot.


Watched America’s National Parks: Olympic

Watched America’s National Parks from National Geographic – Videos, TV Shows & Photos – Canada

America’s National Parks fascinate millions of visitors. This spectacular series will show you what happens beyond the lookouts. More than 3 years in the making will enable the audience to witness moments full of drama, watch stories of life and death and discover hidden gems they never believed could be found in a place they thought they knew. Follow us on an epic journey from the geysers of Yellowstone to the rugged Pacific coast of the Olympic peninsula, from the hot desert of Saguaro to the icy Gates of the Arctic, from the subtropical sea of grass in the Everglades to the world-famous peaks of Yosemite and from the mystic Smoky Mountains to the biggest gorge on Earth: the Grand…

Man, those transient killer whales are nasty! No wonder we love our resident orcas that just eat salmon.