Posts Tagged "safety"
We mentioned this on Twitter when the issue came out back in July, but National Geographic had a nice one-page feature on Dangerous by Design, our study from 2009 ranking metro areas on their relative danger to those on foot and bike, focusing on Florida’s overall risk based on having 4 of the top 10 most dangerous metros. In the last 15 years, more than 76,000 Americans have been killed while crossing or walking along a street in their community, and it’s high time that more attention was paid to this preventable loss of life that we far too often ignore or simple believe to be inevitable.
A couple of years ago, we profiled Dr. Scott Crawford, a wheelchair user and resident of Jackson, Mississippi who has long fought for accessible buses with wheelchair lifts, curb ramps and better sidewalks. As Dr. Crawford’s story reminds us, there is still a lot of work to do, but he’s had a powerful legal tool in his fight to make streets and transit services equitable and accessible for all users: The Americans with Disabilities Act, which turned 20 years old just this week.
Do yourself a favor and check out this short video from PBS’ Blueprint America series that aired in just the last few days. The overall package is about “disappearmarks” — earmarks totaling millions in the last federal transportation bill that have never been allocated or spent, according to the Sunlight Foundation. But this from Atlanta focuses much more specifically on how unsafe, incomplete streets and outdated transportation planning has resulted in a major road in Atlanta (and countless others) where pedestrians take their lives into their own hands each and every day, just to get to work, school, or the closest bus stop.
We’re facing an epidemic of childhood obesity, and this could very well be a generation of children who live shorter, less healthy lives than their parents. A healthier transportation system for America’s kids requires change in federal policy. But change will remain out of our grasp without a sense of urgency from everyday people on the ground. So where’s the meeting point between policymakers in Washington and citizens in their neighborhoods?
Transportation for America was proud to co-author and circulate a letter thanking Secretary Ray LaHood for USDOT’s policy statement elevating walking and biking in national policy. Last Friday, several of us at T4 cycled with a handful of national partners to DOT Headquarters across town to thank the Secretary in person.
Sec. LaHood issued a new directive yesterday that officially shows DOT’s support for improving safety for walking and bicycling — treating them as equal modes of transportation. Last fall we released a report chronicling the 76,000 preventable pedestrian deaths over the last 15 years on streets unsafe for walkers or bikers. Today, DOT made some progress on the issue.
As our new Dangerous by Design report illustrates, pedestrian safety is a matter of life or death for thousands of Americans each year. With a loss of life equivalent to a jumbo jet going down roughly each month, it is a tragedy that does not get enough attention at nearly any level of government. These are preventable deaths, largely on roads that are not safe for walking or biking. Transportation for America is working to arrange a meeting with U.S. Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood and to deliver the message from our hundreds of partner organizations and thousands of supporters across the country that safer streets must be a priority! Sign our petition today!
Every year, nearly 5,000 Americans die preventable deaths on roads that fail to provide safe conditions for pedestrians. This decade alone, more than 43,000 Americans – including 3,906 children under 16 – have been killed while walking or crossing a street in our communities. A new report from Transportation for America and the Surface Transportation Policy Partnership, Dangerous by Design: Solving the Epidemic of Preventable Pedestrian Death (and Making Great Neighborhoods), ranks metropolitan areas based on the relative danger of walking. Read the report and view the full metro rankings.
Last week, the New York Times covered the news that the National Highway Transportation Safety Administration decided in 2003 not to release preliminary data showing that talking on cellphones while driving — whether using a hands-free device or not — posed a safety risk nearly equivalent to drunk driving. Researchers at the NHTSA were pushing for a more extensive research program to follow their preliminary research, but due to what the Times cited as “political considerations,” not only was the extra study and research not ordered, but the existing findings were essentially buried.
Transportation for America hosted the fourth webinar in a series last Thursday, April 30. More than 270 people signed up to hear from health, safety and active transportation experts on the effects our transportation policy has on public health and safety. In coordination with the webinar, we’ve released the 5th in a series of policy papers, focusing on public health and safety.