Pedestrian Deaths Are Soaring

We have to own cars, so the total of 6000 pedestrian deaths, and a total of 40,000 deaths by car last year is a built-in consequence.  REALLY!?!!  If this was drug related, or disease, or other epidemic we would be outraged! This rant is brought to you as a response to people complaining about the “dangers” of electric scooters recently introduced in Asbury Park. FOCUS on the REAL PROBLEM. #toomanycars #slowthecars  Scooters and bikes in Asbury Park are alternatives to cars, and we need to keep open minds to save lives, and to protect health and the environment. Asbury Park is poised to be a city that truly gets it right.

Why Are U.S. Drivers Killing So Many Pedestrians?

 
by Joe Cortright

If anything else—a disease, terrorists, gun-wielding crazies—killed as many Americans as cars do, we’d regard it as a national emergency. Especially if the death rate had grown by 50 percent in less than a decade. But as new data from the Governor’s Highway Safety Association (via Streetsblog) show, that’s exactly what’s happened with the pedestrian death toll in the U.S. In the nine years from 2009 to 2018, pedestrian deaths increased 51 percent from 4,109 to 6,227.

There are lots of reasons given for the increase: distracted driving due to smart phone use, a decline in gas prices that has prompted even more driving, poor road design, a culture that privileges car travel and denigrates walking, and the increasing prevalence of more lethal sport utility vehicles. Undoubtedly, all of these factors contribute.

Read more…

https://www.strongtowns.org/journal/2019/7/2/why-are-us-drivers-killing-so-many-pedestrians

#FATALFACTS

We can’t ignore this anymore. Scooters and bikes ARE NOT THE PROBLEM. These numbers are unacceptable.  We’re working on  solutions in Asbury Park. #toomanycars #slowthecars

Vehicle Deaths Estimated at 40,000 for Third Straight Year

For the first time since the Great Recession, the U.S. has experienced three straight years of at least 40,000 roadway deaths, according to preliminary estimatesreleased Feb. 13 by the National Safety Council. In 2018, an estimated 40,000 people lost their lives to car crashes – a 1% decline from 2017 (40,231 deaths) and 2016 (40,327 deaths). About 4.5 million people were seriously injured in crashes last year – also a 1% decrease over 2017.

Discouragingly, last year’s estimated 40,000 deaths is 14% higher than four years ago. Driver behavior is likely contributing to the numbers staying stubbornly high. The Council’s estimates do not reveal causation; however, 2017 final data show spikes in deaths among pedestrians, while distraction continues to be involved in 8% of crashes, and drowsy driving in an additional 2%.

“Forty-thousand deaths is unacceptable,” said Nicholas Smith, interim president and CEO of NSC. “We cannot afford to tread water any more. We know what works, but we need to demonstrate the commitment to implementing the solutions. Roadway deaths are preventable by doubling down on what works, embracing technology advancements and creating a culture of safer driving.”

Read more.

https://www.nsc.org/road-safety/safety-topics/fatality-estimates

Who Are People Riding Bikes?

Asbury Park is experiencing a surge in people riding bikes, which we support as a means of transportation, improving health, taking care of the environment, and reducing car dependency. But who are the people who riding bikes every day as their main mode of getting around?

This article about “invisible bicyclists”, in Bicycling Magazine this week was originally published in 2006. Since then mobility issues for immigrants (documented or not), and other people who can’t afford cars hasn’t improved.  (Read the news any day about bike delivery people in NYC). People with means in cities like NYC and Asbury Park complain that bicyclists ride irresponsibly, on the sidewalk, or ride against traffic. But who are the people on bikes on the sidewalk? Do we really see them – are they invisible, or are we blind?  Asbury Park is working diligently on building safe streets for everyone on bikes, walking, and drivers too. It isn’t going to happen overnight and we need to take care of one another in the process.

How Low-Income Cyclists Go Unnoticed

SOME ATTENTION HAS RECENTLY FOCUSED ON THE LACK OF REPRESENTATION LOW-INCOME BIKE RIDERS HAVE WHEN IT COMES TO TRANSPORTATION PLANNING AND SAFE CYCLING. HERE’S AN ILLUMINATING PIECE WE WROTE ON THE SUBJECT BACK IN 2006.

Scooters Coming To Asbury Park 8.1.2019!

The Zagster bike share company operating in Asbury Park has teamed up with Spin Scooters. Scooters are coming on Thursday, 8/1/2019!  Sign up here.

Spin and Zagster Partner to Operate Electric Scooter Shares in Select Cities Across the Country

Spin, Recently Acquired by Ford Motor Company, Chooses Zagster’s Micro-Mobility Operations Platform to Accelerate Growth in Cities and Campuses Across the Country.

 

San Francisco, CA, March 19, 2019 — Spin, backed by Ford Motor Company, is announcing a partnership to bring Zagster’s micro-mobility operations platform to Spin’s e-scooter product offering.  Zagster’s turnkey solution leverages a decade-long expertise in micro-mobility to ensure fleet availability, operational efficiency, safety measures, and uniform protocols—all with a community-driven approach. Spin plans to bring scooter-share programs to 100 cities and campuses by end of the year.

Sign up here.

Read more…

https://www.zagster.com/pressroom/spin-and-zagster-partner-to-operate-electric-scooter-shares-in-select-cities-across-the-country

 

 

Pedestrian Deaths Are Rising – Support the Federal Complete Streets Bill

In this article you’ll learn all you need to understand the critical importance of the Federal Complete Streets Bill. Saving lives is only one (the best) reason. Click to support a long-awaited federal Complete Streets bill.

“Our roads and sidewalks are far more than a means of transportation, they are a means of economic growth and community development, and we must make them safe and accessible for everyone,” said Sen. Markey said in a statement. “Whether you are traveling by foot, spoke, or pass, everyone deserves ‘complete streets,’ and this legislation will help fund safe transportation options for the 21st century.”

Pedestrian deaths keep rising in the U.S. Can Congress reverse the trend?

A proposed federal bill would require states to set aside highway funds for safer streets

After years of safety gains, pedestrian and cyclists deaths are up 30 percent in New York City this year.
Photo by Spencer Platt/Getty Images

 

For the past decade, about 13 people per day have been killed while walking in the U.S., a number that remains troublingly high even as other roadway deaths go down. Now a new federal bill intends to address the country’s increasing pedestrian deaths as a national crisis.

The Complete Streets Act, introduced yesterday in both houses of Congress by Sen. Ed Markey, of Massachusetts, and Rep. Steve Cohen, of Tennessee, would require states to aside five percent of federal highway funds for complete streets programs. Complete streets are defined as corridors that are redesigned to give all users of the street equal access to the roadway, with a special emphasis on safety for the most vulnerable users.

Read more…

https://www.curbed.com/2019/7/11/20689992/complete-streets-act-pedestrian-deaths-ed-markey

Do You Hate Cyclists?

It seems everyone is hating on cyclists, aka people on bikes.  We constantly hear that bikes “scare” people, or that they “almost got run down”… (scooters are a close second in the hating department). But why isn’t everyone seriously hating on drivers? Drivers of multi-ton motorized vehicles kill nearly 1.25 million people in crashes each year, on average 3,287 deaths a day. We have been led to believe that we need vehicles, but they are actually killing us.

Why Do NYC Drivers And Pedestrians Loathe Cyclists?

 

“So we set out to explore the psychology of what happens to us when we compete for limited road space, and why much of the frustration seems to get dumped on cyclists. We walked the streets, spoke to people on bikes and on foot at the Brooklyn and Manhattan Bridges, chatted with delivery truck drivers, and hung around the break room of a taxi garage to get a variety of road-users’ perspectives.”

Read more…

https://gothamist.com/2019/07/16/everyone_hates_cyclists.php

Cars Are Killing Us

Asbury Park is perfectly designed to support alternatives to cars. Bike share, scooter share, electric car share, jitneys, pedicabs, and more.

This article in The New Yorker, in addition to recent articles in The New York Times,  The Washington Post, The Atlantic, and other respected and well- known publications tells the history and social, health and environmental impacts of automobiles in this country.  It has become clearer that we need to address the problem of #toomanycars.

“The road has emerged as the setting for our most violent illustrations of systemic racism, combustion engines have helped create a climate crisis, and the quest for oil has led our soldiers into war.”

The “Automobile Era” was ushered in by men who saw a way to make a lot of money hustling Americans into thinking that everyone needed, and everyone could afford a car, and that vehicles represented freedom and our very identity.

This author quotes the stats: “Since 1899, more than 3.6 million people have died in traffic accidents (*Let’s make sure we NEVER say “accident”. They’re CRASHES.*) in the United States, and more than eighty million have been injured; pedestrian fatalities have risen in the past few years.”

“In 2018 alone, an estimated 40,000 people lost their lives to car crashes.” Since 1990 1 million people have been killed in car crashes.”

The environment has suffered irreparably from automobile emissions, and from our dependence on gas and oil. Human health has been adversely affected with particulates in the atmosphere.

Let’s keep working toward a car-free Asbury Park.

Was the Automotive Era a Terrible Mistake?

For a century, we’ve loved our cars. They haven’t loved us back.

READ IT:

https://www.newyorker.com/magazine/2019/07/29/was-the-automotive-era-a-terrible-mistake

 

Dangerous By Design 2019

READ THIS REPORT.

Our cities are overrun by motor vehicles, and more people being killed outside of cars. Fewer drivers and passengers are being killed due to improved safety standards inside vehicles, but auto makers are building fewer cars in favor of large SUVs and trucks which kill people at a much higher rate.

We will continue to work to make streets safe for people walking and riding bikes, scooters, in pedicabs, and with any other alternative modes of transportation in Asbury Park.

“The last two years on record (2016 and 2017) were the most deadly years for people killed by drivers while walking since 1990.

This is happening because our streets, which we designed for the movement of vehicles, have not changed. In fact, we are continuing to design streets that are dangerous for all people. Furthermore, federal and state policies, standards, and funding mechanisms still produce roads that prioritize high speeds for cars over safety for all people.”

Between 2008 and 2017, drivers struck and killed 49,340 people who were walking on streets all across the United States. That’s more than 13 people per day, or one person every hour and 46 minutes. It’s the equivalent of a jumbo jet full of people crashing—with no survivors—every single month.

READ ALL ABOUT IT HERE:

https://smartgrowthamerica.org/dangerous-by-design/

The Atlantic: US Legal System Prioritizes Cars

Since the crash that killed this author’s friend in 1995, approximately 1 million more Americans have been killed in car crashes. This carnage has been normalized in the US, and “governments have prioritized motorists’ convenience over other goals, including the lives of people who aren’t driving”.  If you ride a bike have you ever been accused that you don’t belong on the road because drivers pay gas taxes?  Speaking of taxes, buyers of expensive new electric or hybrid cars get great tax breaks:

Those who walk or bike to work receive no commuter tax benefit, while those who drive receive tax-deductible parking. Another provision of the tax code gives car buyers a tax rebate of up to $7,500 when their new vehicles are electric or hybrid; buyers of brand-new Audis, BMWs, and Jaguars can claim the full $7,500 from the American taxpayer. Environmentally, these vehicles offer an improvement over gas-powered cars (but not public or active transit). Even so, 85 to 90 percent of toxic vehicle emissions in traffic come from tire wear and other non-tailpipe sources, which electric and hybrid cars still produce. They also still contribute to traffic, and can still kill or maim the people they hit. Why are we taxing bus riders to pay rich people to buy McMansions and luxury electric SUVs?

GREEN Streets Act Introduced

In keeping with the GREEN Streets Act, this is Asbury Park’s goal: “…we must make it possible for people to take fewer and shorter car trips, as well as make it easy and convenient for people to bike, walk and use transit.”

Generating Resilient, Environmentally Exceptional National (GREEN) Streets Act introduced in the Senate today

Today Senators Ed Markey (D-MA) and Tom Carper (D-DE) introduced a bill that would measure and reduce greenhouse gas emissions and vehicle miles traveled. This would be transformative.

“Unfortunately, our federal transportation program forces people to drive more by measuring success through vehicle speed—not the time it actually takes people to reach their destination. Building wider highways and sprawling cities to accommodate high-speed driving creates a feedback loop of more driving, virtually guaranteeing ever-increasing transportation emissions (and congestion). “