Prioritizing pedestrians over cars means everyone wins
Most wealthy nations have managed to reduce traffic deaths significantly in the past few decades, but the U.S. has not seen traffic deaths plunge at the same rate—and in recent years, they’re actually going back up. Overall, U.S.’s traffic deaths are much lower than they were in the 1970s, which experts often attribute to safety regulations like seatbelt laws.
But Jemilah Magnusson, global communications director for ITDP, has a different take on why deaths plummeted—those walkers simply became drivers. “The U.S. used to have a really high pedestrian death rate which we ‘solved’ by putting people in cars,” she says. “So now it’s even more hostile to pedestrians.”