How Kids Would Make Age-Friendly Cities

We know that streets are complete when they are safe for an 8-year-old or an 88-year-old…and the future is our children.  These kids at a nj competition are taking the opportunity to think outside the box and design age-friendly cities.

“By 2060, if not before, the United States is expected to have twice as many people over 65 than today, rising to nearly 24% of the population. Will our cities be livable for them? Maybe so, if their leaders follow some of the ingenious and thoughtful ideas that sixth-, seventh- and eighth-graders presented at the Future City regional competition I attended in Piscataway, N.J. on Saturday.

Future City is an annual, project-based learning experience from DiscoverE, a volunteer movement aiming “to inspire the next generation of engineers and innovators.” It starts with a question for middle schoolers: How can we make the world a better place?”

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70 Percent of Portland City Streets Get New Speed Limit

Lawmakers support slowing vehicle speeds and often emphasizes the need to enforce speed limits.  In the interest of Vision Zero, all over the nation cities are implementing strategies like lowering speed limits and improved infrastructure to reduce and eliminate traffic fatalities, but enforcement too often disproportionately targets people of color.  APCSC focuses on equity in transportation and we are aware that education must be a main component for success in safe streets for everyone.

“According to the Oregonian, commissioner Nick Fish said the new 20-mph policy was a good start, but should be paired with police enforcement.

“There’s a big education piece, and there’s a huge enforcement piece,” he said. “Some people are not getting the message right now.”

Increased police enforcement, however, is one of Vision Zero’s more controversial components. As Josh Cohen wrote for Next City in 2016:

Equity-minded safer streets advocates have criticized Vision Zero’s emphasis on traffic enforcement because people of color get stopped by police at disproportionate rates to white people (a problem prevalent in Portland). And, as the high-profile deaths of Philando Castile, Walter Scott, Terence Crutcher and many others illustrate, those traffic stops can escalate in fatal ways. So there is concern that Vision Zero traffic enforcement could have unintended consequences in communities of color.”

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Women all over the country make the decision to drive short distances rather than to walk, or they have no choice and walk on dangerous streets because infrastructure favors cars.  Asbury Park is working on street design that can make it safe and convenient for women to walk, especially with children.

“Poor street design, disparate land use, time constraints, lack of personal safety—all of these conspire to force women off their feet and into cars. We have built a transportation system that discounts women’s travel needs, and women—and our communities—are suffering for it.

To understand what we should be doing better, it’s important to understand how women’s travel is different from men’s travel. Women make more trips than men, but travel shorter distances. They travel more with children, and their trips are more likely to be household-serving (e.g., shopping, daycare, errands), rather than for work or leisure. Women are also more likely to trip-chain (stop at multiple locations along the way during one trip). In particular for women with young children who haven’t started school, gender drives travel patterns.”

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By Michelle Gladden
“We have seen a higher than expected number, in terms of ridership,” Transportation Manager Michael Manzella [at right] said. “One thing we have learned is that compared to similar sized cities with the same program, we are knocking all but one of them out of the park.”
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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

As Vox reports, the study’s authors attribute the U.S.’s high child mortality rate to its “fragmented” health care system, with insufficient preventative treatment due to lack of coverage and high childhood poverty rates in certain regions. Access to guns is highlighted as a “disturbing disparity” as teenagers are 82 timesmore likely to die from gun violence in the U.S.

But the motor vehicle deaths are cited as particularly preventable, because other countries are succeeding in preventing them, according to the study. Road fatalities have decreased universally over the last few decades due to campaigns targeting drunk driving and new safety innovations in cars.


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Meet Veronica Moss (Kate McKinnon!) A.U.T.O Lobbyist


Kate McKinnon of SNL parodies an auto industry lobbyist, Veronica Moss in this hilarious video.  You may not recognize her (with dark hair) as she talks about her “land boat” (her Hummer), and murmurs sweet phrases to her Lincoln Navigator.  She uses lines from car commercials as she strokes and kisses her SUV steering wheel…”there aren’t enough roads”!

For those of you new to Kate McKinnon has been in 3 of their films!

Can ‘bicycle-to-vehicle’ communication help make cycling safer?

More exciting news in tech

This article pairs with the previous article about Ford helping cities “take back the streets”:

Trek Bicycles and Tome Software working with Ford to alert drivers when cyclists are nearby

“We hear a lot about “vehicle-to-vehicle” (V2V) communication and “vehicle-to-everything” (V2X) communication. Cars with the right software can use cellular technology or a high-speed, low-latency medium called dedicated short-range communications (DSRC) to communicate with each other. This effort to connect our cars to each other and the world around them is part of a broader initiative to pave the way for the mass deployment of autonomous vehicles. But what about vulnerable groups like pedestrians and bicyclists?


Tome has partnered with Trek Bicycle to create an AI-based bicycle-to-vehicle (B2V) communication system to help drivers get alerts to bicycles ahead in dangerous areas of the road. Unlike existing cycling products, they focus on giving driver alerts, which is sure to appeal to the cycling community.”

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NEWS!! Bike/Ped Education in Driver Manual Bill was SIGNED!

From New Jersey Bike&Walk Coalition:
Our bill was signed this morning! This is a HUGE success! Great job all of you who responded to our call to action- YOU made this happen!
We had 755 people respond to our call to action to Gov Christie via email to sign this bill into law. And we think just as many called the governor’s office in support of the bill.
This is what it takes, folks! We have an aggressive legislative agenda for the new administration, outlined in a white paper we submitted along with our community partners, and we plan to keep this momentum going in the new session.
On behalf of everyone who has had a driver yell at them, “Roads are for CARS!” thank you for speaking up and for getting involved.

Once seniors are too old to drive, our transportation system totally fails them

The article makes the case for providing seniors motorized transportation, and doesn’t address the need for better infrastructure for elderly pedestrians.  Many cities like Asbury Park have Complete Streets policies which list specific improvements to city streets to make streets safer and transportation accessible to those without cars.  Streets that are safe for the most vulnerable; from age 8 to 88.

“More than anything else, self-driving cars could revolutionize seniors’ transportation options. Widespread self-driving technology is still years away, but Google has programmed cars that can safely navigate a heavily mapped area in Northern California.”

“Some experts are skeptical that they’ll ever be functional in real-world driving conditions across the country. But if they do, they could provide an easy means of getting around for people who can no longer drive — allowing millions of seniors to remain in their homes without becoming isolated.”

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