The tools we need are right in front of us. If we have any hope of mitigating the effects of transportation on our health, climate, and our very lives, the solution is simple. Bikes and other micro-transit, and buses/mass transit are obvious answers, and the elevator has also enabled people in cities to do more in less space, while in suburbia buildings are limited to one or two stories, requiring that residents are dependent on motor vehicles to get to work or for any services. This article covers every aspect in detail of why we must cut dependency on motor vehicles, while the industry continues to create ways to get more cars on the roads. Besides the critical health impacts from emissions, “last year, 36,560 Americans died in car crashes, not including 6,283 pedestrians killed by cars.” The auto industry has anesthetized us to these statistics, but we can wake up.
We know how to save the lives of people walking and biking…but will we #slowthecars?
Policy makers might not understand how to design safe roads, but more problematic, they are influenced by the automotive industry, so it behooves them to prioritize motor vehicles over other road users – the most vulnerable are not driving or buying cars.
Traffic engineers by definition prioritize the level of service (LOS) of automobiles moving in traffic. In the world of traffic engineering, speed limits are determined by allowing drivers to self-govern, thereby setting speeds according to the 85th Percentile Speed – the speed at or below which 85 percent of vehicles travel.
The numbers of deaths increases drastically with every 10mph. (See graphs/images in the article.) APCSC would like to see Asbury Park determine speed based upon safety. Most drivers know that they can exceed speed limits by 10mph, so how about #20isplenty?
SAFETY OVER SPEED WEEK: THERE’S ONE THING THAT ALMOST EVERY FATAL CAR CRASH HAS IN COMMON
It’s “safety over speed” week here at T4America, and we are spending the week unpacking our second of three principles for transportation investment. Read more about those principles and if you’re new to T4America, you can sign up for email here. Follow along on @T4America this week and check back here on the blog for more related content all week long.
Let’s start with a number: 49,340.
That’s how many people were struck and killed by cars while walking on streets all across the United States between 2008 and 2017. Almost 50,000 preventable deaths.
And yet, by and large, we call these crashes “accidents”. We still believe that these 50,000 deaths, and the deaths of almost 32,000 people every year killed inside of vehicles, are either just the cost of doing business for our transportation system, or were the product of bad behavior: distracted drivers, fatigued drivers, drunk drivers, or drivers not wearing seat belts.
There’s no doubt that distracted driving increases crash risk and should be punished. But distracted driving can’t explain all of these deaths. There’s one thing that almost every crash has in common, though: high vehicle speed.
When crashes occur at higher speeds, they are more likely to be fatal, especially when they involve a person biking or walking.
Read all about it:
Remember The Marlboro Man?
With 40,000 deaths by car last year in the US, “…it may be time to treat automobile companies like cigarette manufactures if they’re going to encourage this kind of reckless aggression.”
This BMW ad in Canada is no different from the multitude of ads in the US depicting cars as aggressive, powerful “beasts” on empty city streets, or zooming on winding, precipitous mountain roads. Ads show vehicles with dark, tinted windows, offering glimpses of a perfectly attired man or woman cocooned in the sound and climate-controlled, luxurious interior. Trucks and SUVs are most often shown off-road, with rugged, sporty owners off loading camping gear or surfboards, living the life. Ads work – they’re aspirational, especially ads for luxury, life-style items, and automobile manufacturers are profiting on knowing that they can continue brainwashing the public as they have been doing since the 1920s. Can we stop the killing by working to break car culture the way we have been trying to break smoking culture (it won’t be easy…now it’s vaping)?
What would an honest car advertisement look like?
Sat., Nov. 2, 2019
“Often violent films and video games are accused of influencing behaviour, but those are fictional portrayals. Advertising is different: it’s aspirational, showing us a lifestyle we should, ostensibly, be striving for with the help of whatever product is being sold…What this ad and others like it are suggesting is that driver aggression is normal and should even be encouraged. In Toronto and other cities we’re familiar with the unleashed beast though, and it’s a killer.”
Who knew? From around 1919 through the 1930s scooters were considered a great alternative to motorcars. As scooters are being re-introduced to cities all over the world, they’re being met with derision, suspicion, and outright anger by drivers. The auto industry has effectively ensured that cars became the dominant means of transportation over any other means of transport- scooters, bikes, and streetcars were phased out of cities from the 20s onward.
1916 SUFFRAGETTE ON A SCOOTER
Lady Florence Norman on her Autoped.
Yes, she is a suffragette, and yes, that is her scooter! And the U.S. postal service tested the Autoped as a means of fast transport for its special delivery service. ABC Motorcycles produced the Skootamota, which had a top speed of 15 mph (24 km/h), and The Gloster Aircraft Company introduced the Reynolds Runabout in 1919, followed by the Unibus in 1920. The Unibus was promoted as the “car on two wheels.”
c. 1916 Lady Norman on her scooter.
c. 1915 Four special delivery postmen for the US Postal Service try out new scooters.
c. 1919 A folded Rouline scooter, Paris.
Read about this fascinating history, and see more amazing photos!
Meet Veronica Moss, A.U.T.O. Lobbyist
Organizing files on our website today I found this good one on the Resources page. Check out SNL’s Kate McKinnon in 2009 lobbying for cars and loving her Nav! A Streetfilms classic.
Ever wonder what folks working for sustainable transportation at the federal level are up against on K Street? For this Streetfilms exclusive event, we were granted unfettered access to Veronica Moss, lobbyist for Automobile Users Trade Organization (AUTO). Veronica gave us a few precious moments inside her SUV to talk about roads, traffic, cyclists, and big cities. After instructing us on proper honking techniques for “old people” and children, she also offered up some choice bons mots. Here’s a sample: “There are not enough roads.” “People need to be able to drive their cars – that’s an American right!”
Take a look through apcompletestreets.org Resources for lots more!
Bipartisan Vision Zero Act would steer highway funds towards programs for safer transit
“The Vision Zero Act is a critical step in our fight to reduce the number of transportation-related fatalities across our country,” said Rep. Pressley, who recently co-founded the House’s new Future of Transportation caucus. “This bill affirms the right of pedestrians, cyclists, and public transit riders to travel safely in community.”
Read about it: