Re: Complete Streets - Bike JC's Grand Street Vision

Posted by DanL on 2016/11/30 21:22:46
this article says it all - ... ncrease-safety-traffic-us

Why America’s roads are so much more dangerous than Europe's

A jump in traffic fatalities over the past two years has brought well-deserved media attention to this tragic aspect of American life. Such deaths are up 7 percent in 2015, and 10 percent for the first six months of 2016 — a phenomenon news outlets are describing as “surprising,” “sudden,” and “unexpected,” an unpleasant departure from the historic trend toward greater safety. We are on track to kill 38,000 vehicle occupants, motorcyclists, bicyclists, and pedestrians in 2016.
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The White House has issued a call to action, asking researchers to scrutinize the data on all road deaths. Officials there appealed to the public as well for ideas about combating distracted, drunken, and other dangerous driving.

Attention to traffic death is long overdue, but to focus on the recent increase means missing a much bigger point.

Even before that spike upward, per capital traffic fatalities in the US were already the highest in the industrialized world. No other developed country tolerates the level of carnage on their roads that we do. This national failure has been overlooked for far too long. Studying short-term variations in our safety record is important, but it can also distract us from investigating the forces contributing to our horrendous safety record compared to our peers.

The Dutch also developed the concept of “self-explaining” roads, especially for rural areas. These have design features that are consistent with the speed appropriate for the location: Curves, medians, bike lanes, and roundabouts nudge the driver toward a given speed.

In the US, in contrast, standard engineering practice calls for wide, straight streets in almost all situations. This approach prompts inappropriate speeds that we then try to correct after the fact with speed bumps, police speed traps, and a bunch of remedies that would not be needed if streets were designed appropriately in the first place.

I for one, believe that jersey city has been dragging its feet.

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