30 Percent of New York Voters Have Been Injured in a Traffic Crash; 70 Percent Know Someone Who Has Been Injured Or Killed

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In New York City, a person is killed in a traffic crash every 36 hours. These are pedestrians trying to cross unsafe streets, drivers and motorcyclists navigating urban avenues built to encourage speeding, and cyclists relying on bike lanes that are unprotected, disconnected, or entirely missing.

The victims of traffic violence are parents, children, spouses, and elders. They are our neighbors, our friends, our teachers and nurses, and the workers who deliver our food. …

Micromobility For Tomorrow and Today

Why Shared Bikes, Scooters, and E-Bikes Are the Future of Cities

A Partner Post from our friends at Spin

The case for micromobility is made every day in cities across America by countless people choosing to ride scooters, bikes, and e-bikes. It is high-time for city streets to evolve to support the demand for more diverse mobility options.

At the turn of the 20th Century, as cars became a more intrinsic part of convenience and capitalism, streets were taken over by larger and larger vehicles — not the communal spaces for people they once were.

Today, we’re seeing the beginning of a reversal. In recent years, shared micromobility has seen explosive growth. According to NACTO, people in the United States took 136 million trips on shared bikes, e-bikes, and scooters in 2019 — that’s 60 percent more than 2018. Micromobility has been especially important during the pandemic, offering an open air, socially distanced solution for getting around a city. …

2020 was hard. But we learned a few things.

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We are at the end of an unprecedented and impossibly trying year. As we cope with all those we have lost and prepare for an unstable future in New York City, at Transportation Alternatives, we wanted to try and add some optimism to this year’s end. Even in the darkness, we see a few reasons for hope on our streets.

Chief among our reasons for hope is what the coronavirus pandemic has revealed — both in the fragility of our transportation network and in the creativity we can muster to support our neighbors and our recovery.

It is not all good news — far from it. But, there is much we can learn from this challenging year to help inspire and advance our work in the year to come. Moving forward, we must fight harder for what matters most and put our resources where they will go furthest. Here is what 2020 taught us. …

This is the story of how a group of families who lost loved ones in traffic crashes fought to change the speed limit in New York City, and won

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After her son was struck and killed by a cab driver, Dana Lerner became an activist to lower New York City’s speed limit. Her work has continued since that campaign succeeded, including (pictured) fighting to stop New York City’s speed camera program from being dismantled. Photo by Scott Heins

Families for Safe Streets is an advocacy organization made up of crash survivors and loved ones of people killed in traffic, founded in New York City. Six years ago today, with the help of activists and organizers from Transportation Alternatives, Families for Safe Streets convinced New York Governor Andrew Cuomo to sign into law a bill that would reduce the New York City speed limit from 30 to 25 miles per hour. Backed by research that proves the fatality rate of crashes directly corresponds to vehicle speeds, their campaign was as sensible as it was arduous.

To commemorate the sixth anniversary of the campaign, and the official reduction of the speed limit in America’s most populous city to a safer pace, Transportation Alternatives sat down with Dana Lerner, a member of Families for Safe Streets, to hear what it was like to be a part of this historic activist undertaking. …

As the world adopts smart lights, smart homes, smartphones, and smart cars, the real question we need to ask is this: Today’s cities are “smarter” than ever, but are they safer?

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Together for Safer Roads at the NASDAQ Closing Bell

By Dave Braunstein

Safer cities are often associated with crime rates, but this fails to include an integral aspect of public health and safety: our roads. Transportation is an overlooked but important determinant of how safe a city is. Road safety is not just limited to car crashes and aggressive driving but includes near-misses, as well as motorcycle, bicyclist, and pedestrian collisions that cost life and limb and billions of dollars in medical care, property damage, and lawsuits each year. In the United States alone, traffic crashes are a leading cause of death in people aged 54 and below. To put it into perspective, that is 40,000 deaths annually and 4.4 …

Car Ad Executive Turned Bike Advocate Tells All

By Tom Flood

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Car advertisements often use children to evoke nostalgia and vulnerability. The Vision Zero movement can do the same. (Photo by Scott Heins for Transportation Alternatives)

For many years, I worked in the automotive sector of the advertising industry. Then, I started riding a bike with my kids to school and finally stopped drinking the car culture Kool-Aid.

But what I learned making and selling car ads has value. The Vision Zero movement could learn a lot from the marketing practices of the auto industry. As we seek to transform streets and drive traffic deaths down to zero, we can take cues from how cars are sold.

Car Ads Are Targeted

Car ads arrive on our screens in a non-stop onslaught. These messages are impossible to avoid, appearing year-round in every possible media space and high visibility location with an almost unmatched reach and frequency. Now, obviously, the Vision Zero movement doesn’t have the same marketing machine supporting their goals, but at its core, car ads are telling stories, and storytelling can work at any scale. If advocates can adopt the storytelling techniques of the car industry, we can possibly provide effective counter-messaging to the automotive industry onslaught. …

The good news is that the number of people killed inside cars is going down. The bad news is that the number of people killed while walking and biking is skyrocketing.

By Emiko Atherton and Beth Osborne

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In the past decade, the number of people killed inside cars has plummeted, while the number of people struck and killed while walking increased by 35 percent. Though overall roadway fatalities decreased 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. Between 2008 and 2017, 49,340 people — 13 people per day, or one person every hour and 46 minutes — were killed while just walking on streets all across the United States. It’s the equivalent of a jumbo jet full of people crashing — with no survivors — every single month. …

Inside the Car-free Livability Program that transformed Norway’s capital

By Terje Elvaas

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Credit: Kevin Dahlman

Putting people first makes cities work better for everyone. It is not an easy task, but Oslo, the capital of Norway, has done important work to show that it is possible. In 2019, Oslo achieved Vision Zero. Reaching that goal was bigger than just saving lives — Oslo had to build a happy, healthy, attractive city. While disagreement and conflict are a part of the story, there is also a lot of common ground to be found. Working together is the only way to make that a Vision Zero a reality.

Make The Streets Where You Meet People

“Our main objective is to give the streets back to the people,” Hanna Marcussen, Oslo’s Vice Mayor for Urban Development told BBC Future in 2019, explaining the radical changes the city was making to local streets. …

How the coronavirus is shifting perspectives on the 40,000 killed in traffic crashes every year

By Charles Marohn

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In the early months of witnessing COVID-19 spread across North America, our cultural debate has been about whether or not the virus is an urgent threat or a chronic killer. How this debate resolves will tell us a lot about what our actions will be — and, perhaps, how many people might die.

An urgent threat is something humans are wired to respond to. Our bodies have a natural fight or flight mechanism that kicks in — an instinctive response we also seem capable of engaging with as groups. When terrorists flew planes into buildings in September 2001, we responded collectively with sustained focus and a committed sense of urgency. …

The vital role of language and framing in advancing Vision Zero

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By Tara Goddard and Kelcie Ralph

People engaged in Vision Zero know that how we discuss traffic safety is one important way of connecting individual behaviors and outcomes to the larger system, an idea which is central to Vision Zero, otherwise known as the Safe Systems approach. Proponents of changing the narrative around traffic safety in the U.S. led “crash, not accident” campaigns at least as early as 2014 — eschewing the implication that traffic crashes are random and unpreventable. They have urged politicians, reporters, and advocates to make this simple word choice to convey the preventable nature of traffic crashes. …



Transportation Alternatives is your advocate for bicycling, walking and public transit in New York City. We stand up for #VisionZero & #BikeNYC.

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