Posted by: cantmisssd | October 15, 2010

Cars kill people. Walking doesn’t.

Spinning off from a sad GGW post today, it’s important when considering how to integrate various modes of transportation into one space that not all modes are created equal. If a pedestrian or a cyclist runs into something, bruises and scrapes might occur. When a car hits something, it’s far more destructive- often deadly.

Safety demands a certain level of car exceptionalism, but that doesn’t mean there should be a built-in deference to the supremacy of cars. Quite the opposite- it means we should do whatever we can to reduce the most dangerous mode of transportation. After all, as noted recently by Jeff Speck, “In one three-city study, suburban residents were 18% more likely to be killed or injured by traffic accidents or crime. If the entire U.S. shared New York’s traffic death rate, we would save more than 25,000 lives per year.”

Now, the rest of the country will never reach New York’s density levels or it’s 65.8% car independence rate, but it underlines the public safety problems that a car-centric society presents.

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