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5 ESSENTIAL STRONG TOWNS ARTICLES


[B' Spokes: Just the headlines]

1. CONFESSIONS OF A RECOVERING ENGINEER
2. THE GROWTH PONZI SCHEME
3. CAN YOU BE AN ENGINEER AND SPEAK OUT FOR REFORM?
4. GROSS NEGLIGENCE (SERIES)
5. THE FIVE WAYS ENGINEERS DEFLECT CRITICISM

https://www.strongtowns.org/journal/2017/1/31/5-essential-strong-towns-articles
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U.S. kids die from traffic fatalities at twice the rate of other wealthy nations

A study calls on Americans to do “everything possible” to address these preventable deaths


By Alissa Walker

The study, published in Health Affairs this month, compared child mortality rates in 20 wealthy, democratic countries since 1960. Over the last half century, the rate of childhood death decreased in all nations except the U.S. A child born in the United States today has a 70 percent greater chance of dying before age 20 than in those countries.

“All U.S. policymakers, pediatric health professionals, child health advocates, and families should be troubled by these findings,” reads the study. “The findings should motivate Americans to do everything possible to improve the medical and social conditions of children that are responsible for these preventable deaths.”


https://www.curbed.com/platform/amp/2018/1/10/16871152/traffic-deaths-children-vision-zero
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Traffic delaying pedestrian flow is a cost too


[B' Spoke: Imagine using the same methodology in determining the cost of delaying drivers to delaying pedestrians. I am now wondering why nobody thought of that before, time wasted is time wasted as long as you are a person at the mercy of traffic engineers poor decisions.]

http://ourauckland.aucklandcouncil.govt.nz/articles/news/2018/6/traffic-delaying-pedestrian-flow-is-a-cost-too/
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America Lags Behind Other High-Income Countries In Road Safety, Vision For Zero Deaths Proposed


A new, comprehensive report that proposes a template for how to end all traffic deaths in the United States by 2050 was released last week by the Road to Zero Coalition, an alliance of more than 650 organizations.


America lags behind 19 comparable countries when it comes to road safety, the council said, referring to a 2016 Centers for Disease Control and Prevention report that analyzed data compiled by the World Health Organization and the Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD).


https://www.forbes.com/sites/tanyamohn/2018/04/24/america-lags-behind-other-high-income-countries-in-road-safety-vision-for-zero-deaths-proposed/
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Houston driver gets a little too close to a cycling police officer


Here's what happens when a driver makes a close pass on a cyclist who turns out to be a police officer riding a bike equipped with radar for enforcement of the passing distance law.
...

http://road.cc/content/news/225048-near-miss-day-9-houston-driver-gets-little-too-close-cycling-police-officer
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ADJUST SIGNAL CONTROLS TO MAKE WALKING SAFER


-> The State Smart Transportation Initiative reports adjusting signal controls is one simple way that transportation agencies can start tipping the balance in favor of those on foot. This month's ITE Journal (http://bit.ly/2LEJSAW) explains: "[L]egacy signal timing policies at intersections have prioritized vehicular movements, leading to large and sometimes unnecessary delays for pedestrians. Because pedestrian trips are short, delays at signalized intersections can affect pedestrians disproportionately and are a key factor in pedestrian non-compliance." The ITE article outlines a range of improvement options including leading pedestrian intervals, exclusive pedestrian phases (the Barnes Dance), shorter cycle lengths, and other ways of coordinating pedestrian and vehicle phases. http://bit.ly/2LKCgwT

from CenterLines, the e-newsletter of the National Center for Bicycling & Walking.
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NASHVILLE, TN REQUIRES 3-FOOT PED PASSING DISTANCE


-> WKRN-TV reports the Nashville, TN Metro Council passed a bill last month that gives pedestrians the right-of-way on certain roads. The ordinance (http://bit.ly/2v7fRoB) says pedestrians must walk on a sidewalk or shoulder if there is one available. If not, they can use up to three feet of the roadway. If a driver wishes to pass the pedestrian, he must maintain a three-foot distance. If the driver cannot pass safely, the vehicle must yield to the pedestrian. http://bit.ly/2vNJlYY

from CenterLines, the e-newsletter of the National Center for Bicycling & Walking.
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Undercover bike cops launch 'best ever' cycle safety scheme in Birmingham


By Laura Laker, The Guardian

When Mark Hodson gets on his bike in the morning, like many cyclists in the UK, he has come to expect a few close calls. Perhaps drivers will whizz past him too close, or someone will even try a ‘punishment pass’.

Luckily, Hodson is a West Midlands Police traffic officer, albeit in plain clothes, and just yards up the road a colleague in a police car is waiting to pull over drivers that give him less than 1.5m space when overtaking (a distance that increases for faster speeds and larger vehicles).

That driver will be offered a choice: prosecution, or 15 minutes’ education on how to overtake a cyclist safely. The worst drivers, or repeat offenders, will simply be prosecuted.
...

https://amp.theguardian.com/environment/bike-blog/2016/sep/16/undercover-bike-cops-launch-best-ever-cycle-safety-scheme-in-birmingham
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The button is false


The story below reminded me how the talking pedestrian crossings around the inner harbor had to be programmed to say "No one has pressed the button." but they decided on "The button is false." A lot clearer and an improvement in pedestrian safety right? I'm not sure if they still do that but still, a totally different attitude than what's described below.
- B' Spokes

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MANY BOSTON, MA (& ELSEWHERE) PED WALK BUTTONS DO NOTHING
-> The Boston Globe reports the vast majority of walk buttons that dot downtown neighborhoods, don’t actually do anything. Officials say the city’s core is just too congested — with cars and pedestrians — to allow any one person to manipulate the cycle. Other major cities around the world, including New York, Seattle, and London, follow similar protocols. While pedestrians may be irked to learn they have been pressing what amount to placebo buttons, Boston officials say the setting is actually aimed at making life easier for walkers by eliminating the need to push a button at all. There was a time when pedestrians needed to press the device to ensure they got their turn. Now, traffic lights at many busy intersections are programmed to assume that pedestrians are constantly looking to cross. http://bit.ly/2vNQjgD

from CenterLines, the e-newsletter of the National Center for Bicycling & Walking.
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WHO PAYS FOR ROADS? A STATE-BY-STATE LOOK


-> State Smart Transportation Initiative reports all roads are subsidized, but to wildly varying degrees in each state. A new state-by-state study from the Tax Foundation found that user fees only cover a fraction of total road costs, ranging from 12% in Alaska to 76% in Hawaii. (How Are Your State’s Roads Funded?: http://bit.ly/2vNU2L9) While the report does not give a national figure, a previous version estimated user fees cover just 50% of road costs. http://bit.ly/2wGpd7l

from CenterLines, the e-newsletter of the National Center for Bicycling & Walking.

[B' Spokes: Maryland share of roads paid by user fees and taxes is 66.9%.]
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