Candidates’ Plans For Climate Are Not Enough

“Simply put, we’ll never achieve ambitious climate targets if we don’t reduce driving.”

So. What do the Democratic candidates say about climate – and how transportation is directly accounts for the largest share of carbon emissions in the U.S.?  Not nearly enough. They focus on a few big things—electric vehicles, renewable energy, putting a price on carbon, and strengthening fuel efficiency standards, but it’s not nearly enough as long as there are so many vehicles on the roads. Both parties rely on “antiquated policy that undermines any action we take on climate change: spending billions to build new highways, encouraging more and more driving.”

Check out the Candidate list in the article below.

“Democrats and Republicans remain deeply committed to

THE CANDIDATES’ CLIMATE PLANS & TRANSPORTATION

“We took an in-depth look at the climate plans from the top eight presidential candidates (according to RealClearPolitics polling data as of November 1, 2019) for the Democratic Party nomination. We’ve also included Jay Inslee in our analysis, despite the fact that he dropped out of the race, because his climate plan is widely considered to have set the standard for climate plans.

There are some candidates running for the Republican nomination for president, but none of them have released climate plans. The closest thing President Trump has to a climate plan is the “Affordable Clean Energy” rule which could actually increase pollution.”

Note: Investments, quantifiable targets, or policy proposals below are bolded; broad value statements or acknowledgements of an issue without a proposal to address it are not bolded.

All candidates except U.S. Senator Cory Booker raise their hands while responding to a question that they would currently support the original Iran nuclear agreement during the first U.S. 2020 presidential election Democratic candidates debate in Miami, Florida, U.S., June 26, 2019. REUTERS/Mike Segar

 

Climate change has become a top issue for Americans, so how do the top Democratic candidates plan to reduce emissions? Here’s a brief look at what some of the presidential candidates are proposing when it comes to emissions from transportation.

Polling Candidate Electrify vehicles Reduce driving Promote bikeable/walkable communities Invest in transit Support passenger rail
1 Biden 500,000 new public charging outlets by the end of 2030 and restore the full electric vehicle tax credit. Altering local regulations to eliminate sprawl and allow for denser, more affordable housing near public transit would cut commute times for many of the country’s workers while decreasing their carbon footprint. Communities across the country are experiencing a growing need for alternative and cleaner transportation options, including transit, dedicated bicycle and pedestrian thoroughfares, and first- and last-mile connections. Ensure that America has the cleanest, safest, and fastest rail system in the world and will begin the construction of an end-to-end high speed rail system that will connect the coasts.
2 Warren Zero emissions in all new light and medium duty vehicles by 2030. Expand and improve public transit across our country.
3 Sanders 100 percent electric vehicles powered with renewable energy. For too long, government policy has encouraged long car commutes, congestion, and dangerous emissions. Create more livable, connected, and vibrant communities. $300 billion investment to increase public transit ridership by 65 percent by 2030. $607 billion investment in a regional high-speed rail system.
4 Buttigeig All new passenger vehicles sold be zero-emissions by 2035. Switching from individual vehicles to public transportation not only reduces traffic congestion, but also reduces emissions while improving air quality. $100 billion over 10 years, which will include installing bike and scooter lanes. $100 billion over 10 years, which will include modernizing subways and other transit systems and deploying electric commuter buses and school buses.
5 Harris 100 percent zero-emission vehicles by 2035. Incentivize people to reduce car usage and use public transit…focusing our transportation infrastructure investments toward projects that reduce vehicle miles traveled and address gaps in first mile, last mile service. Funding robust public transportation networks to bring communities together.
6 Yang Require all models from 2030 on to be zero-emission vehicles. $200 billion grant program to states to electrify transit systems.
7 Gabbard While Gabbard has not released a climate plan, she has introduced legislation in the U.S. House that would require all new vehicle sales to be 100% electric by 2035.
8 O’Rourke Rapidly accelerate the adoption of zero-emission vehicles. $1.2 trillion through grants and other investments, including: Transportation grants that cut commutes, crashes, and carbon pollution — all while boosting access to public transit.
Honorable Mention: Jay Inslee Invest federal moneys and expand effective public policies linking community-based economic development to housing affordability and mobility. Promote vibrant communities, more healthy and walkable neighborhoods, and both the preservation of existing affordable housing and construction of new affordable units. Invest in expanding public transit and connecting people in communities through safe, multi-modal transportation options. More than double annual federal investment in public transit systems and incentivize expansion of transit networks. Provide major new federal investment in electrifying passenger and freight rail throughout the country, and offering federal investment to states and regional partnerships to expand ultra-high-speed rail.

Our Lives Depend On It. The Future Of Transportation – It’s About Choices

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.

The Hyperloop and the Self-Driving Car Are Not the Future of Transportation

The bus, the bike, and the elevator are.

https://slate.com/technology/2019/10/future-of-transportation-bus-bike-elevator.html?fbclid=IwAR0E0nfkjXQji2OY9pZO9xKSmjii1Fje-XRaiuzJ7L8XvKoYx2bHUYtTtzU

IT’S TIME TO DESIGN FOR SAFETY, NOT SPEED

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:

http://t4america.org/2019/11/04/safety-over-speed-week-theres-one-thing-that-almost-every-fatal-car-crash-has-in-common/#easy-footnote-bottom-1-28661

Ads For Cars Are Like Ads For Cigarettes

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?

“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.”

https://www.thestar.com/news/gta/2019/11/02/what-would-an-honest-car-advertisement-look-like.html

The Scooters Of The Early 20th Century

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.

by Chris Wild

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!

https://mashable.com/2015/06/15/1916-suffragette-scooter/?utm_cid=mash-com-pin-link

SNL’s Kate McKinnon Slays As Auto Lobbyist!

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!

Meet Veronica Moss, A.U.T.O. Lobbyist 2009

 

 

GOOD NEWS: The Vision Zero Act Of 2019 Just Introduced

THESE STAGGERING STATISTICS
Are we going to begin to wean our nation from car dependency? Cars are literally killing us.
The Vision Zero Act comes after a five-year increase in pedestrian and cyclist deaths in the U.S. A recent report from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration found more pedestrians and cyclists were killed last year than in any year since 1990; approximately 17 pedestrians and two cyclists were killed each day.
GOOD NEWS
The Vision Zero Act of 2019
, a bipartisan bill introduced in the House on October 23: To provide more federal funding towards safer street design, to help to reduce the increasing number of pedestrian fatalities in the U.S.

NEW BILL AIMS TO COUNTER ALARMING RISE IN PEDESTRIAN DEATHS WITH FUNDING FOR SAFER STREETS

 

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:

https://www.curbed.com/2019/10/23/20928815/vision-zero-traffic-deaths-safe-streets-transportation

Car Crashes Are The Leading Cause of Death Among Kids 5-18. On Halloween It’s Much Worse

Car crashes remain the leading cause of death among children ages 5 to 18. “According to 2018 National Highway Traffic Safety Administration data out this week, pedestrian deaths increased for the fifth year in a row, up 3.4 percent from 2017. The numbers are particularly grim for American school-age kids. For children in the U.S. aged 5 to 18, car crashes remain the leading cause of death.”

On Halloween it’s 43 percent more deadly.

There has been a change in Daylight Saving Time to add an hour of daylight to Halloween, but that hasn’t changed the horrible statistics. There is a petition to change Halloween to a Saturday.  But the real problem is cars and dangerous street design. When the data is acknowledged, there’s usually a marketing campaign that blames pedestrians. This time of year, the internet is plastered in Halloween-themed PSAs reminding children to wear bright costumes, carry flashlights, and stop looking at their phones. This is NOT the solution. It’s #toomanycars, #slowthecars, and #bancarsonhalloween.

THE MOST TERRIFYING PART OF HALLOWEEN FOR KIDS IS OUR DEADLY STREETS

It’s not the costumes or the candy—it’s the cars.

The scariest part of Halloween is our unsafe streets.
According to 2018 National Highway Traffic Safety Administration data out this week, pedestrian deaths increased for the fifth year in a row, up 3.4 percent from 2017. The numbers are particularly grim for American school-age kids. For children in the U.S. aged 5 to 18, car crashes remain the leading cause of death.

On Halloween it’s much worse.

Halloween night is, on average, 43 percent more deadly for pedestrians than other autumn nights. The highest rates of fatal crashes were seen for kids aged 4 to 8 around 6 p.m.

But when the commuting drivers are removed from the equation, deaths seem to go down. A study by AutoInsurance.org used FARS data to compare 24 years of crash data by days of the week. Halloweens that fell on workdays had an 83 percent increase in deadly crashes involving kids compared to weekend days. The worst day? Friday. Since 1994, the three deadliest Halloween nights for kids have all been Friday nights.

Last year, an online petition sponsored by the Halloween & Costume Association got national momentum for trying to move the holiday to the last Saturday in October, in part to reduce car crashes. Now a revised petition wants to keep the date of Halloween the same, but add a separate National Trick or Treat Day that would be celebrated on that final Saturday.

Moving Halloween to Saturday doesn’t actually solve the problem: Our deadly streets.

Read more:

https://www.curbed.com/2019/10/25/20927701/halloween-safety-pedestrian-deaths-kids

DRIVERS: It’s Your Responsibility

This is one of the few PSAs we’ve seen that’s aimed at the DRIVER. Let’s get this message out loud and clear!

In addition, they’ve addressed the use of the dehumanizing term “pedestrian”:

“What do you think of when you hear that “…a pedestrian was hit?

Your best friend?

A neighbor?

Someone important in your life?

Probably not. We have put the plight of the person out of our minds and replaced it with the sterile pedestrian.

Now what do you think of when you hear that “…a young child was hit?

It should feel extremely uncomfortable, maybe even offensive, to have these distressing emotions broached.

Yet, therein lies the problem: Instead of confronting safety issues head-on, our society has largely relegated this as taboo topic. We literally do not think about these crashes and evade the horror with euphemistic language.”

http://kidzneurosciencecenter.com/the-word-pedestrian/

Thanks Walksafe.org!

The University of Miami WalkSafe program is a pediatric injury prevention program working directly with public schools through our free 3-day educational curriculum and safety resources.

WalkSafe also encourages physical activity through walking to school and advocates for facilities and infrastructure improvements to the school environment by collaborating with local governments, traffic planners, school districts and the community.

http://iwalksafe.org/

Words Matter. What Is A Pedestrian?

We’re happy to have discovered the website and program WalkSafe, the University of Miami pediatric injury prevention program. The blog is great, as evidenced in the piece linked below about the effects of words like “pedestrian” in reporting car crashes.

As we have written before, the use of certain words can dehumanize people. Consider the terms, “pedestrian”, “cyclist”,  vs “person walking”, and “person riding a bike”.  In the description of a motor vehicle crash (most often erroneously called an “accident”), the person who has been killed is referred to as a “pedestrian” or “cyclist”, without context, effectively blunting the emotional impact of the fatal incident. In this article: “Pedestrian Killed by Santa Barbara City Bus“, as implied in the title the inference is that the bus acted on it’s own.  As in so many news articles, the writer seems to be protecting the identity of the driver, and since the driver seems to be absent, the death was an accident with no human victim, and car culture continues.

WalkSafe doesn’t aim educational materials and PSAs at children and their behavior, making them responsible for their own safety, but rather “…advocates for facilities and infrastructure improvements to the school environment by collaborating with local governments, traffic planners, school districts and the community.”

THERE IS A PROBLEM WITH THE WORD “PEDESTRIAN.”

“Last October, we brought this point up on Twitter: The word “pedestrian” needs a rethink. Today, we are giving these thoughts a more permanent home on the WalkSafe blog.

Perhaps it may seem odd for a walking advocacy organization to criticize the word pedestrian. Many advocates – including ourselves – use the word to promote walkability every day.

Nevertheless, the word is flawed. One could argue that it unintentionally works against walking advocacy.

“For starters, let us avoid the word “pedestrian.” A “pedestrian” should simply be a “person walking.” You could even argue that a pedestrian is “a person,” as a pedestrian can be standing too. That is not to say this simple change of language will solve the safety crisis on its own. Far from it. It is, however, one of many micro steps necessary to build emotional support in favor of safety.”

Learn more about WalkSafe:

Each year, an alarming number of pedestrians under the age of 14 are severely injured or killed in pedestrian-hit-by-car (PHBC) incidents. These PHBC rates are particularly high in the State of Florida and in its largest county, Miami-Dade.

Learn more…

http://kidzneurosciencecenter.com/the-word-pedestrian/