Friday, May 9, 2014

Are Traffic Fatalities an Acceptable Loss?

This is from the former Commissioner Department of Transportation Washington DC. The source is an executive summary from Transportation Alternatives, New York City.

“The numbers are staggering: we’re worried
about murder; we’re worried about terrorism;
we’ve lost 3,000 people to terrorism in the United
States in the past 10 years, obviously we’ve got
to worry about that, but in those ten years we’ve
lost 400,000 people on our roads. We’re worried
about US deaths in Iraq, and that’s 5,000 people
and we lose 5,000 in two months, or more than
5,000 in two months on our roads,” says former
DOT First Deputy Commissioner Sam Schwartz,
“It’s not taken seriously. I’ve never heard anyone
in the U.S. say what they are saying in European
countries or cities, of zero deaths as a goal.”

Then the report says " This (auto collisions) is the number one killer of New York City children." Today Americans tolerate 40,000 deaths per year from motor vehicle accidents  as an acceptable loss to be grieved in private.

In 1970's Netherlands the automobile proliferated just like it had in the United States, the motorcar was so successful that pedestrians were put on notice. School children were killed in collisions with the motorcar to the point Dutch citizens led a protest to solve the problem (video).  That revolution resulted in a balanced transportation plan in the Netherlands today, the same plan began in New York City more recently. "Build it and they will come."

Expect more traffic and automobile related fatalities in Laguna's future until we too adopt the Netherland's balanced mobility plan.  -LS

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