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Monday, November 20 2017 @ 12:20 AM UTC

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How fire chiefs and traffic engineers make places less safe

Biking in BaltimoreBy STEVE MOUZON , CNU

[B' Spokes: Mostly about the fire department's effort in Florida to remove street trees but still he makes a great point:]

...
On the divide between traffic safety and fire safety, consider this: if you only count deaths by automobile of people walking and people cycling, that’s 19.4 per million in the US, which is almost 50% more than the egregious 12.4 per million deaths by fire in the US each year. To be really blunt, if every fire department in the US closed up shop and dedicated themselves to reducing deaths of people walking and biking to zero, 2,100 lives would be saved in the US every year. Over my lifetime of 57 years, 119,700 people we’ve buried or cremated would have lived instead, with not a single fire station open in the US. To be clear, I’m not advocating for that. What I am advocating for is for fire chiefs and fire marshals to open their eyes and realize that when they do something in the interest of fire safety that damages walking and biking safety, they’re likely killing people!
...

https://www.cnu.org/publicsquare/2017/03/27/how-fire-chiefs-and-traffic-engineers-make-places-less-safe
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Cities With the Most Highway Miles: a “Who’s Who” of Decay

Biking in BaltimoreBy Angie Schmitt, Streets Blog

This is fascinating. Using data from the FHWA, the esteemed Patrick Kennedy at Network blog Walkable Dallas Fort Worth has cobbled together a list of the American cities with the highest number of estimated highway lane miles per capita.

See if you notice any similarities (this is per 1,000 people):
...
10. Baltimore – .724
...

http://usa.streetsblog.org/2012/04/20/cities-with-the-most-highway-miles-a-whos-who-of-decay/
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EDMONTON: DATA DISPELS RATIONALE FOR BLAMING PED VICTIMS

Biking in Baltimore-> Streetsblog USA reports an Edmonton, Alberta walking and cycling commuter used the city’s own motor vehicle collision data to make a chart showing who — or, more often, what — is on the receiving end when Edmonton motorists crash their cars. Of the more than 27,000 crashes recorded in Edmonton, Alberta last year, 91% involved another motor vehicle. Of the 478 collisions in which a driver struck a cyclist or pedestrian, just 51 involved people crossing without the right of way. And of the city’s 10 pedestrian fatalities last year, just one was crossing without the right of way. Despite these facts, the city and province have focused heavily on blaming jaywalkers for traffic fatalities. Shifting responsibility to the people most vulnerable to traffic and away from the people piloting multi-ton, high-speed vehicles, in the process absolving governments that design dangerous roads doesn’t sit well with many Edmonton residents concerned about traffic safety. http://bit.ly/2rpeA78

from CenterLines, the e-newsletter of the National Center for Bicycling & Walking.
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So your city wants to uphold the Paris agreement

Biking in BaltimoreVia Smart Growth America

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If you’re worried about climate, you’ll need to make it easier for people to drive less, and to travel shorter distances when they do drive.
...

https://medium.com/@SmartGrowthAmerica/so-your-city-wants-to-uphold-the-paris-agreement-ada7ff3bd400
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Bringing Complete Streets to Baltimore City

Biking in Baltimore[B' Spokes: Catching up on some old stuff that still has relevant issues. This is from Ryan Dorsey's web site:]

...
Consider the following data on the current state of our streets:

* With 20,035 crashes per year, the City is Maryland's most dangerous jurisdiction. The number of crashes per vehicle mile traveled (VMT) is 3.7 times the state average. Crashes cause traffic delay, property damage, injury, and death.
* The Baltimore MSA is 10th worst for traffic fatalities involving pedestrians, at 20%.
* Our average commute is 31 minutes and average transit commute 50 minutes, among the highest in the U.S.
...


* Transportation poses a barrier to employment for City residents even for jobs located in the City. City residents only hold 34.6% of City jobs.
* In Baltimore, high crash areas include the Greater Penn-North area, Bel-Air Edison, and Southern Park Heights, all majority Black neighborhoods.
* Children, older adults, and persons of color are disproportionately affected by pedestrian crashes. Nationwide, African American and Latino cyclists are 30% and 23% more likely to suffer a biking fatality than White cyclists, and the fatality rate for African American and Latino pedestrians is 60% and 43% higher than for White pedestrians.
* Automobile dependency extracts money out of our local economy and deprives businesses of customers and communities of investment that come with Complete Streets.

In our City, there are 8 Community Statistical Areas (developed by Baltimore Neighborhood Indicators Alliance) where more than 50% of the households do not have access to a personal vehicle. In some census tracts within these areas, the rate can climb as high as 80%. These Community Statistical Areas are:

Cherry Hill (51.8% no vehicle access)
Southwest Baltimore (52.8%)
Sandtown-Winchester/Harlem Park (56.3%)
Madison/East End (56.6%)
Greenmount East (57.8%)
Poppleton/The Terraces/Hollins Market (58.9%)
Upton/Druid Heights (67.5%)
Oldtown/Middle East (71.6%)
...

http://www.electryandorsey.com/single-post/2017/02/15/Bringing-Complete-Streets-to-Baltimore-City
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Why we must ban car advertising and sponsorship as was done with tobacco

Biking in BaltimoreBy Vreadhead, Ban Private Cars in London

‘Powersliding a sports car through a rain-slick city at night might seem like an unrealistic activity that most car owners won’t participate in, but marketers count on the excitement generated by this imagery to influence consumer decisions. These marketers are seeking those consumers most driven by “a need for speed.”

These are called ‘Hedonistic Considerations’.

How often do we see a car that solely occupies space in an advert? It is a fantasy world that deceives not only the driver but demands that we all give way to that fantasy by prioritising traffic flow.

The anger at this disconnect between fantasy and reality materialises on the ground as projected ‘road rage’ onto the perceived or socially constructed ‘weakness’ of pedestrians and cyclists.

Nothing brings a driver crashing down to reality more than a pedestrian who walks faster or a cyclist who weaves ahead.
...

https://banprivatecarsinlondon.com/2017/05/16/why-we-should-ban-car-advertising-as-was-done-with-tobacco/
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The Way we Talk about Traffic Deaths is All Wrong

Biking in BaltimoreVia Moving Beyond the Automobile

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Given the significant potential for harm associated with driving and the inequity in deaths, one would expect a high degree of responsibility and accountability to be placed on drivers. The unfortunate reality however is that driving is so pervasive in our culture that when a tragedy occurs on our streets, we as a society are often quick to protect the drivers, rather than the most vulnerable.

To see what I mean, carefully read the following news headline from the Toronto Star on a tragic fatality that occurred last month in Scarborough:

“A 6-year-old boy has died after being struck by a vehicle while walking home from school in Scarborough Friday afternoon, Toronto police said.”

Notice anything peculiar? Probably not, because this is the phrasing that is commonly used by the media when reporting road deaths. If you read carefully though, you’ll notice that the sentence doesn’t actually mention the driver of the vehicle.

Technically speaking, a vehicle did strike and kill the 6-year-old boy, but the vehicle did not act on its own. That vehicle was operated by a human being – a driver – trusted with the responsibility of operating a 2,000-pound potentially-lethal machine in our public streets, which are ripe with hazards and vulnerable users. Was the driver at fault for the boy’s death? That doesn’t matter – the point is that the driver was operating the vehicle which caused the death, making them directly involved in the incident.
...

https://mattpinderblog.wordpress.com/2017/05/19/the-way-we-talk-about-traffic-deaths-is-all-wrong/
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Road fatalities are soaring. Here’s how to stop that.

Biking in BaltimoreVia Washington Post

U.S. ROADWAYS in 2016 yielded another bumper crop of carnage as vehicle fatalities soared 6 percent, following a 7 percent jump in 2015 — the biggest two-year spike since the 1960s. The cost of deaths, injuries and property damage resulting from crashes also leaped by 12 percent in just a year, to some $432 billion, an amount on par with the entire annual economic output of a mid-size European country, such as Norway.
...

https://www.washingtonpost.com/opinions/road-fatalities-are-soaring-heres-how-to-stop-that/2017/02/26/1b41ca14-f497-11e6-a9b0-ecee7ce475fc_story.html
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BALTIMORE, MD: BIKES & BUSES TO RECONNECT A CAR-LITE CITY

Biking in Baltimore-> In part to support its new frequent-service modified bus grid and a federally funded rapid bus arriving in 2021, Baltimore, MD is hoping to spend the next three years installing a low-stress biking network in six neighborhoods to add to existing bikeways. It’ll open new possibilities for neighborhoods first built as "streetcar suburbs" of downtown Baltimore but now difficult to travel between without a car despite being less than a half mile apart. Streetsblog: http://bit.ly/2mzsOT0

from CenterLines, the e-newsletter of the National Center for Bicycling & Walking.
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EUROPEAN FISCAL INCENTIVES & RECOMMENDATIONS FOR E-CYCLING

Biking in Baltimore-> The European Cyclists’ Federation launched a new report called "Electromobility for All: Fiscal Incentives for E-cycling" (http://bit.ly/2n4s46g). The report provides key policy recommendations and best practice examples, with the goal of promoting e-cycling throughout Europe. In addition to the economic, environmental, health and other benefits that cycling has to offer, e-bikes are the perfect solution for longer distance trips. In studies, they proved to be faster than cars in trips up to 10 km (twice longer than the ones with conventional bikes). Moreover, they make it easier to overcome natural obstacles (like hills or headwinds), thus they are suitable for commuters wanting to arrive at work in their professional attire, less physically trained cyclists, elderly people and other groups that did not cycle before. Besides, e-bikes make it possible to transport heavier goods, thus providing a great solution for individual shoppers and companies relying on fast urban logistics. Therefore, e-bikes are seen as a potential alternative to cars, especially for trips in urban areas. http://bit.ly/2n4GQtt

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

[B' Spokes: I'll take this opportunity to note that Baltimore Bike Share approximately half of their fleet is electric pedal-assist (Pedelec) (a white lightning bolt on the back fender.)
https://www.bmorebikeshare.com/ ]

And another for e-bikes:
STUDY: E-BIKES INCREASE CYCLING
-> TREC reports on a study in Portland, OR that provided 150 Kaiser Permanente employees with electric-assist bicycles (e-bikes) to use for ten weeks to see if e-bikes might help overcome some commonly cited barriers to cycling. (Evaluation of Electric Bike Use at Three Kaiser Permanente NW Employment Centers in Portland Metro Region: http://bit.ly/2mAhUfG) Fewer than 10 percent of participants had ever ridden an e-bike as an adult, and 50 percent of them said that they normally never rode a bike at all. Before beginning the program, 38% were categorized as "strong and fearless" or "enthused and confident." After using an e-bike, 52% were categorized as such. The study found people will use a bike more if it is an e-bike. The number of people commuting to work by bicycle at least once a week, and the number of people biking at least once a month for shopping or other errands each more than doubled during the study. http://bit.ly/2mAps1W

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