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.
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.
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.
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.”
Residents on through streets who have been rightfully concerned about speeding will see traffic calming measures put in place to #slowthecars. New bike lanes will be implemented so students can ride to school, and pedestrian safety will be improved with new signals. Thanks Safe Routes To Schools and Transportation Manager Mike Manzella. Asbury Park is building infrastructure to become a model city for biking and walking.
Asbury Park Grant For Pedestrian Safety Improvements
The issues of parking in Australia are the same as those in the US. Comforting to know that we’re not alone struggling with this, and in every city with the same problem, it all comes down to #toomanycars. There’s tension between the auto industry desperately trying to keep cars on the roads, engineers who persist in designing roads for cars, and the oil and gas industries vs environmentalists who have been letting us know that emissions are killing the planet, and urban planners who realize that streets should be designed as places for people and that #slowthecars will save thousands of lives each year. Cities designed with alternative transportation options are more livable – healthier and safer.
OF ALL THE PROBLEMS OUR CITIES NEED TO FIX, LACK OF CAR PARKING ISN’T ONE OF THEM
“…cars dominate our cities, supported by decades of unbalanced planning decisions favouring space for cars over other land uses or forms of transport. “
Drivers have been injuring and killing people walking, and people on bikes at an increasing rate. Mixing people with cars is a bad combination. #slowthecars #toomanycars
Canadian cities are grappling with the same issues that we are here in the US. Speed kills, and there are too many cars. One way to make streets safer for people is the traffic signal that lets people cross before drivers are permitted to go, called an LPI, Leading Pedestrian Interval. (There are also LBIs in many cities, which allow people on bikes to go first.) Asbury Park will experience the benefit of LBIs at intersections when the Main Street reconfiguration is completed.
‘We need to implement this everywhere’
Critic calls for installation of LPIs, which give head start to pedestrians at crosswalks
Joel Ballard · CBC News ·
LPIs give pedestrians a head start
LPIs give pedestrians a three to seven second head start when entering an intersection. The vehicles’ traffic signal stays red for a few extra seconds while pedestrians begin to cross.
If you wouldn’t let your kids ride a bike or walk across town in your city, or if you, as an adult are fearful of riding your bike around your town or for a bike ride to another town, there’s something seriously wrong. And the tragedy is that we know what it is. It’s cars. We know cars kill. We know that streets and roads are engineered to move cars quickly, and not to enable people to move about safely. So what are we going to do about it? Check out the podcasts.
We Need a Sea Change in How We Think About Roads and Streets
March 12, 2019
“You are grossly negligent if you show a conscious indifference to the safety of others. In other words, you’re aware that the safety of others is endangered, but you don’t do anything to act on that knowledge.”
— Charles Marohn
#8 in our Greatest Hits collection of the best Strong Towns Podcast episodes you may have missed the first time around, here’s “Gross Negligence” from June 2015. In it, Chuck Marohn describes:
An exercise from army basic training in which he had to crawl through a trench while an expert marksman sent bullets whizzing nearby. No parent would let their child do this. So why do we accept that this is basically the condition of being on the sidewalk of an American stroad?
Why we tend to associate speed with mobility and economic opportunity—and why we’re wrong.
The incoherence of common responses to tragedy on our streets, such as a proposal to remedy an unsafe highway through a park in Buffalo by simultaneously making it more like a city street… and more like a high-speed road.
What we would do if we actually wanted to make safety the number one priority on our streets. The podcast: http://podcast.strongtowns.org/e/greatest-hits-7-gross-negligence/
People are killed every day while walking, even in crosswalks, and with the right-of-way. The narrative we hear too often is that they were “distracted walkers” or officer’s reports stating that the person was “hit by a car* while walking outside the crosswalk …” Do we realize yet that the media is presenting “facts” in such a way as to dehumanize and exonerate drivers*, while blaming victims for their deaths? #slowthecars #toomanycars While lawmakers are still bumbling through legislation to reduce the numbers of cars on city streets all over the US, what can WE do about it in Asbury Park?
The number of pedestrians killed by cars keeps going up
Americans are walking less, but the number of people killed by drivers while walking keeps going up. Unsurprisingly, these deaths happen more in poor neighborhoods of color.
Every year, the amount of time Americans spend walking declines. Driving, on the other hand, has slightly but steadily risen in popularity since 2008. During that period, the number of pedestrians killed by people in cars has skyrocketed.
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. The last two years on record (2016 and 2017) were the most deadly years for people killed by drivers while walking since 1990.
Too many Americans are being struck and killed by the drivers of cars, trucks, and SUVs while walking. Dangerous by Design 2019, released today, chronicles the preventable epidemic of pedestrian fatalities, which have been steadily increasing in recent years, even as traffic fatalities overall have been decreasing.
We can and must do more to reduce the number of people who die while walking every day on our roadways. For too long we have disregarded this problem by prioritizing moving cars at high speeds over safety for everyone. It’s past time for that to change. Protecting the safety of all people who use the street—especially the people most vulnerable to being struck and killed—needs to be a higher priority for policymakers, and this priority must be reflected in the decisions we make about how to fund, design, operate, maintain, and measure the success of our roads.
In the past decade, the number of people struck and killed while walking increased by 35 percent. Though fatalities decreased ever so slightly in 2017, 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 a big deal to begin making effective change in slowing traffic speeds and saving lives. #slowthecars. First, we need to understand how traffic speeds have been set by the National Committee on Uniform Traffic Control Devices (NCUTCD) . On any given street or road speed limits have been set according to the highest speed of 15% of drivers in free flowing conditions. “85th percentile rule,” which pegs the speed limit on any particular roadway to the speeds of the fastest 15 percent of drivers in “free-flowing conditions.” So if 85 percent of the drivers stay below 40 miles per hour and 15 percent of drivers exceed it, that becomes the speed limit, even if 40 miles per hour is a bit too fast for that roadway. The new language requires other criteria are used — like the presence of pedestrians — in setting speed limits, in addition to the 85th percentile rule.
Kenny Sorensen, the talented and well-known musician has been advocating for safe infrastructure for bicycling for years. This is his letter to the editor of the Asbury Park Press. A road diet can be the solution. “While New Jersey traffic fatalities have declined slightly, pedestrian and bicycle deaths have sharply increased. This is a trend nationwide. More pedestrians and bicyclists are being killed and injured by cars than ever before.” #slowthecars Learn more…
Public streets not just for car owners: Sorensen
Ken Sorensen Jan. 11, 2019
Public streets should be for everyone, not just car owners. Our friends in Asbury Park Complete Streets have been successful in implementing a “road diet” on Main Street in Asbury Park. This current project converts four lanes of traffic to a three-lane configuration with a turning lane and bike lanes. It’s much safer for motorists and pedestrians. A road diet is a design tool that reverses six decades of road design focused solely on cars at the expense of pedestrians’ safety and general quality of life.