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Wednesday, December 13 2017 @ 12:49 PM UTC
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Transportation Engineers Are Ethically Bound to Protect Public Safety. Too Many Do Not.

Biking ElsewhereBy Angie Schmitt, Streets Blog

Licensed transportation engineers are supposed to abide by an ethical code of conduct that places the highest priority on public safety. But if you look outside at the closest street, you’ll probably see the result of engineering decisions that are antithetical to protecting people’s lives.

America has built out a transportation system that places people at much greater risk of death and serious injury than in peer countries around the world. In the last two years, the annual death toll has only escalated. The most vulnerable road users — people getting around without a car — account for a disproportionate share of the carnage.
...

We built a car culture, we built this myth that all the highways are paid by the users and we can’t use that money for anything else. The Highway Trust Fund — that’s a problem. I think in the 1950s when we didn’t have a highway system, I could see the logic. But it’s not the 1950s any more and we still have 1950s arguments and strategies.

We’re one of the only countries that has dedicated highway spending. In other countries, it’s just general funds, and you have public conversations about how that money is spent.

What I hear over and over [from other engineers] is we have no money to fix this. We don’t have money to maintain traffic signals, we don’t have money to build sidewalks. It’s a ridiculous statement on its face because we have billions of dollars but we just don’t spend it on those things.
[B' Spokes: I'll note we do NOT have a system for getting cheap or economical things built, our system is only for the most expensive of the expensive.]
...

https://usa.streetsblog.org/2017/10/11/transportation-engineers-are-ethically-bound-to-protect-public-safety-too-many-do-not/
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Why you should care about other modes now

Biking ElsewhereBy Maggie Awad, Mobility Lab

...
After I arrived at my destination and the adrenaline cooled, a thought I’ve had for the last few months, came bubbling up to the top:

The vast difference in driver education and biking/pedestrian education is what causes this rift between modes.

And the sad reality of it all is that you’re not likely to care about another mode (especially if you don’t use it yourself), until someone you know is injured or worse.

So What Can We Do?

A lot of things, actually.

1. Equal Education
...
2. Change Safety Messaging
[B' Spokes: MD's Street Smart ad campaign is an example of what NOT to do.]
...
3. On-Demand Education for On-Demand Services
[B' Spokes: Profesional drivers (for Uber to name one) need more professional training than your run of the mill driver who does limited routes for a limited time.]
...

https://mobilitylab.org/2017/08/01/care-modes-now/
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Cars don’t kill people; people kill people.

Biking Elsewhere[B' Spokes: I find it interesting that this heading is very similar to "Guns don't kill people, people kill people." And both those issues have problems with under regulating people that use said objects. It as if people are not the problem so... nothing is the problem?

For cars, it seems the media has been pushing "it was just an accident" over "it was a crash and somebody did something wrong." No teachable moment for drivers, ever. And it seems they launched the next phase "the driver of the car seems to be little more than a witness" with the implied the driver is not at fault for the outcome. Read the article on Treehugger:
https://www.treehugger.com/cars/cars-dont-kill-people-people-kill-people.html ]
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Vision professor says Alberta's 'when eyes lock' campaign unfair to pedestrians

Biking ElsewhereBy: Kashmala Fida, Metro News

Traffic safety, it would seem, is in the eye of the beholder.

Alberta rolled out a new traffic safety campaign this month, featuring a pair of eyes above the tagline “The most advanced technology in pedestrian safety: It’s safer to walk when eyes lock.”

But Kyle Mathewson, a vision scientist and assistant professor of psychology at the University of Alberta, took to Twitter to criticize the new advertising this week, arguing it's not only ineffective but also blames the pedestrian for collisions.
...

http://www.metronews.ca/news/edmonton/2017/10/25/vision-professor-says-alberta-s-when-eyes-lock-campaign-unfair-to-pedestrians.html

[B' Spokes: This story is important for two reasons, it is becoming increasingly obvious that those "professionals" in the safety field are just making things up, with no basis for their claims. Next, making eye contact is just says "I'll do the right thing" for the driver that means the ped will yield and for the ped it means the driver will yield. Obviously, that's not going to work, without a reaffirmation that it is the duty for drivers to stop for pedestrians the car-centric media will continue to victim blame pedestrians like somehow it makes more sense that pedestrians should jump out of the way of speeding cars than two tons of machine act with some courtesy on our public streets.]
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31,000 Americans died on the roads last year because of stupid

Biking ElsewhereBy Lloyd Alter, Treehugger

On sister site MNN.com I recently wondered Why are so many people dying on our roads? I was concentrating on how the number of people killed inside cars was going down (because cars are much better at saving the lives of occupants now), while the numbers of people killed outside cars was going up (because more people are driving, and they are in deadly SUVs and pickups).

But when I got to the bottom of the post, I found some astonishing statistics that merited another post of its own on TreeHugger. An amazing 83 percent of fatalities are directly attributable to three choices that drivers make: to drive too fast, to drive drunk, or to drive without doing up their seatbelts. Basically, to be stupid and do stupid things.
...

[B' Spokes: I'll note you really can't add up those categories because there are some people who do stupid on top of stupid and there are even some that do stupid on top of stupid on top of stupid, that is to say, we don't know how many are drunk without seatbelts and speeding that caused a fatality, either there own or someone else's.

https://www.treehugger.com/cars/31000-americans-died-roads-last-year-because-stupid.html
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'The car horn is uncivilised': how Kathmandu's streets went quiet

Biking ElsewhereBy Pete Pattisson, The Guardian

...
“The horn is a symbol of being uncivilised. We wanted to show the world how civilised we are in Kathmandu.”
...

https://www.theguardian.com/cities/2017/oct/24/kathmandu-horn-ban-quiet-streets-nepal
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Most states make big moves on TAP; some squander TAP funds

Biking in Marylandby Margo Pedroso, Safe Routes to School National Partnership

We have been beating the drum for several months now to encourage states to fully spend their Transportation Alternatives Program (TAP) funds before the critical deadline of September 30, 2017, when any unused FY2014 funds would expire after four years.
...

Four states (GA, MD, NJ, NC) also let a total of $17 million in TAP funding lapse. Funding only lapses if it has not been obligated after four years. Lapsed funds expire and are returned to the federal government. States who allowed this to happen forfeited money meant for safety and transportation by simply not planning ahead. Advocates know that there are indeed Safe Routes to School, biking and walking projects that could desperately use these funds, but the state DOTs did not fulfill their responsibilities to ensure the TAP money was obligated in time.
...

https://www.saferoutespartnership.org/blog/most-states-make-big-moves-tap-some-squander-tap-funds
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REACTIVE PED CROSSING ALERTS DRIVERS & PEDS

Biking Elsewhere-> Springwise reports the Starling Crossing - or Stigmergic Adaptive Responsive Learning Crossing - uses familiar and understandable road markings and colors to react to different conditions in real-time. (http://bit.ly/2yvtCfv) The full-scale prototype has been temporarily installed in South London, England. Using a neural network framework, cameras track objects that are moving across the road surface, distinguishing between pedestrians, cyclists and vehicles, calculating their precise locations, trajectories and velocities and anticipating where they may move to in the next moment. If a person is distracted, looking down at their mobile, and veers too close to the road surface when a car is nearby, a warning pattern lights around them to fill their field of vision. If a child runs into the road unexpectedly, a large buffer zone is created around them to make their trajectory clear to any nearby drivers or cyclists. http://bit.ly/2yuTacx

from CenterLines, the e-newsletter of the National Center for Bicycling & Walking.
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2017 STATE OF YOUTH OBESITY RANKINGS - MD #13

Biking in Maryland-> The Safe Routes to School National Partnership E-News reports obesity remains one of the biggest threats to the health of our children and our country. Check out the latest in youth obesity rates in the new 2017 State of Obesity state profiles, interactive maps, and graphics and see where your state ranks. http://bit.ly/2gk9p4f

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

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GREAT BRITAIN: SPEEDING & CELLPHONE USING DRIVERS WHO KILL FACE LIFE IN PRISON

Biking Elsewhere-> The Guardian reports dangerous drivers who cause death while using their mobile phones or speeding will face life in prison. The decision to go ahead with a major extension of sentences comes after a campaign by families and a cross-party group of members of Parliament. Drivers who kill while under the influence of drink or drugs will also face a life sentence. And there will be a new offense of causing serious injury through careless driving, as part of renewed efforts to improve road safety. The new measures mean such drivers could face the same length of sentence as those convicted of manslaughter, with maximum penalties raised from 14 years to life. http://bit.ly/2wZM9Ps

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