A Twitter user encapsulates: “We need to take radical steps to build more resilient, equitable communities that reverse our climate- destroying, auto-centric land use.”
Appointed and elected officials in New Albany insist that their half-measures of the past few years have magically calmed the city’s streets.
I simply isn’t true, period. Automobile supremacy continues to be the only writ they know, because pay-to-play doesn’t work with walkers and cyclists.
If any of them ever make this claim of success to you, look them square in the eye and say, “You lie just like Trump.”
Because that’s exactly what they’re doing — and worse, as with Trump, they know it.
Slowing the Cars in Austin, by Gabe Colombo (Strong Towns)
… Drivers kill or seriously injure more than 70 people a year on Austin’s roads—nationwide, about 18 pedestrians die every day in traffic crashes—and the design of our roads plays a critical role in what is, by all accounts, a public health crisis. East Yager Lane, where Billy was killed, is about 30 feet wide, and the speed limit is 45 miles per hour. There are no sidewalks.
Traffic fatalities are also deeply inequitable. Black people are nearly twice as likely to be killed by cars while walking than white people, and the fatality rate for Native Americans is nearly five times higher. Lower-income metro areas also have a higher rate of pedestrian crash injuries and fatalities.
The reasons are many: Non-white and low-income Americans are less likely to have access to a private vehicle (which is more expensive to purchase, feed, and maintain) and more often have no choice but to walk for their daily needs. At the same time, streets in neighborhoods of color and low-income neighborhoods are more car-oriented—with more and wider lanes, fewer crosswalks, fewer trees and poorly maintained or nonexistent sidewalks—owing to a legacy of underinvestment. Plus, urban transit systems have historically excluded communities of color and low-income neighborhoods.
In light of this stark reality, Austin’s recent decision to reduce speed limits across the city could not have come at a more appropriate time … while a reduction of five mph might not seem like much to a driver, it has a significant impact on pedestrian safety. A car is roughly seven times as likely to severely injure a pedestrian when traveling at 35 mph than when traveling at 25. Boston’s recent widespread reduction in speed limits from 30 to 25 mph resulted in a nearly 30-percent reduction in the likelihood that drivers exceeded 35 mph on the city’s streets …