America's traffic safety establishment has long been focused on "behavioral" explanations for traffic deaths -- things like seatbelt usage and drunk driving. By ignoring the role of the high-speed, car-centric transportation systems they've created, they don't have to face their own culpability.
Twenty-four-year-old Taja Wilson was killed near the Louisiana bayou in August when a driver swerved on the shoulder where she was walking. Noshat Nahian, age 8, was killed in a Queens crosswalk on his way to school in December by a tractor-trailer driver with a suspended license. Manuel Steeber, 37, was in a wheelchair when he was […]
Signalized intersections carry special risks. Drivers often accelerate during the yellow phase to "beat the light," for instance, leading to high-speed crashes. Federal officials warn that improperly placed signals can "significantly increase collisions." So Seattle is reviewing 10 intersections to see if traffic signals should be replaced with stop signs.
Think of it as a Christmas gift: On December 24, the gatekeepers who determine which street treatments should become standard tools for American engineers decided to add bike signals to the Manual on Uniform Traffic Control Devices, sometimes called “the bible of traffic engineering.” The decision should lead to more widespread use of bike signals, […]
At the Landmark Interchange by Fenway Park in Boston, people trying to walk across the street sometimes have to wait as long as two minutes for a signal. And that, says Northeastern University Civil Engineering Professor Peter Furth, is dangerous.
From a motorist’s perspective, few things are more frustrating than sitting at a red light when the lights ahead are all green. That would help explain the popularity of traffic signal synchronization, neatly timing lights so that someone traveling the speed limit can expect to wait only every several cycles. Many communities have seized on […]