Wiki Wednesday: Traffic Justice

Brooklyn_crash.jpgThe traffic justice movement, as outlined in this week’s featured StreetsWiki entry, may be old hat to many Streetsblog readers. Sadly, it remains as relevant as ever.

On the other hand, it is encouraging to know that organizations like the National Center for Bicycling and Walking have programs dedicated to calling attention to the plague of traffic injuries and fatalities that most Americans accept as a fact of life.

One in 90 Americans will die in a motor vehicle crash. There is no
greater killer of people in their 30’s. In terms of years of potential
life lost, only cancer and heart disease take a higher toll than
traffic. Yet for most Americans, driving is a daily habit. Despite
its dangers, people drive because other options are either not
available, take much more time, or are not encouraged by the culture.
Such willful blindness to a preventable danger is nothing less than
human sacrifice.

The consequences of traffic injustice are as ingrained as they are innumerable, from parents who are resigned to putting inexperienced kids behind the wheel as a rite of adulthood to community leaders whose solution to hazardous conditions, even in a thriving pedestrian environment, is to keep people away. Then there is the cheapening of human life that pervades media coverage of traffic "accidents."

Read the full entry to see what measures the NCBW’s Traffic Justice Initiative is looking to bring about. And to contribute to this or any other StreetsWiki item, sign up for a Livable Streets account.

October 2007 photo of car in Brooklyn’s Cadman Plaza/WNBC via Gothamist

  • Boris

    On this blog, I often see various “Roads are not Free” arguments. It just so happens that I have to make a presentation on this topic for an economics class. Would anyone be so kind as to point me to some online resources about this? Naturally, the biggest topics here are congestion pricing and livable streets, but I also need more general information on the economics of roads. Thank you very much!

  • Boris

    Thanks, Aaron!

  • Sam

    I remember when that picture happened! That was nuts…

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