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%.]
Hyperloopism. The perfect word to define a crazy new and unproven technology which nobody is sure will work, that probably isn't better or cheaper than the way things are done now, and is often counterproductive and used as an excuse to actually do nothing at all. It appears to have been coined by Matthew Yglesias five years ago in the title of a post (The Trouble With Hyperloopism) but I can find no other uses of it on Google.
We actually do know how to fix things. We know how to make streets safe for pedestrians and stop murdering children; we know how to reduce carbon emissions to almost zero. But in the USA it appears that Hyperloopism is the religion of the day, and Elon Musk will solve it all. Somehow, I think people are going to be disappointed.
Over the last decade, it’s become safer to drive and more dangerous to walk. That’s the conclusion of a new report on pedestrian safety released earlier this week, which documents that from 2007 to 2016, “The number of pedestrian fatalities increased 27 percent … while at the same time, all other traffic deaths decreased by 14 percent.”
Alarmingly, this is not just a medium-term trend, reports the Governors Highway Safety Association (GHSA). In the U.S., “pedestrians now account for a larger proportion of traffic fatalities than they have in the past 33 years.”
America isn’t making progress on pedestrian safety, with people on foot accounting for a steadily rising share of overall traffic fatalities.
In 2017, for the second year running, nearly 6,000 people were struck and killed while walking in the U.S., according to a new report from the Governors Highway Safety Association [PDF]. The pedestrian fatality rate remains about 25 percent higher than where it stood just a few years ago.
Other than the increase in driving mileage, there are few solid explanations of the factors at work. GHSA suggests distraction by mobile devices plays a role, as may impairment by marijuana, with pedestrian deaths rising more in states that have legalized weed. Neither explanation has been studied with scientific rigor, however.
One thing that’s certain is that city governments are in position to act on the problem, because pedestrian deaths are concentrated in urban areas. In 2016 alone, pedestrian fatalities in the 10 biggest U.S. cities rose 28 percent. In Los Angeles, the increase was 45 percent.
To reduce pedestrian fatalities, GHSA says states and local governments should focus on the following three areas.
[Just the headlines]
* More separation of pedestrians from motor vehicles
* Better visibility [s/b better nighttime iluumination]
* Reduce lethal motor vehicle speeds using engineering and enforcement
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
A collaborative group in Maine is tackling punishment passes, three-foot violations and other unsafe driving practices from within Maine's Law Enforcement departments.
Despite numerous traffic safety programs, traffic death rates have not declined in a decade and recently started to increase. We can do better! A new paradigm identifies additional safety strategies that reduce both crash rates and risk exposure.
During this holiday season thousands of North Americans will be unnecessarily killed or severely injured in crashes. We could do much better!
The United States has the highest traffic fatality rate among peer countries, nearly three times the European average and easily twice the averages of Australia and Canada.
As it is now, the campaign language and programs promoted by the traffic safety organisations unabashedly victimise the individual (primarily pedestrians and cyclists) rather than speak out about the dangers of motorised vehicles. They also tend to ignore the one most obvious solution to lower road fatalities – a drastic reduction in the number of motorised vehicles on the road.
Their baseline is clear. Cars are here to stay - everyone else either get out of the way or bubble wrap yourself. What this communication subculture doesn’t talk about is rather telling. Basically anything that would brand cars as the problem - or reducing the number of cars.
Living in cities makes wannabe legislators of us all. Every day, urbanites have occasion to shake a scornful fist and say, There oughtta be a law. There can't be a modern city behavior more liable to elicit this high-handed oath than the guy who walks down the street, or worse, crosses the street, with his head buried in his phone.
Some people are legislators in real life, not just in their passive-aggressive daydreams, so when they feel like there oughtta be a law, they put forward a private member's bill. That's what Ontario Liberal MPP Yvan Baker has done with the Phones Down, Heads Up Act. It would slap fines on people caught staring at their devices while crossing the street.