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Faster Isn’t Better, and Cars Aren’t Safer

Much of the Streetsblog Network seems to be distracted by the inauguration -- who isn't? -- but we've got some new stuff up there for you to think about if you can tear yourself away from the wall-to-wall coverage.

1801508204_09abe29a51.jpgPhoto by happyshooter via Flickr.
From Detroit's M-Bike.org, some thoughts about how the American fetish for speed can actually prevent us from getting where we need and want to go:

Accessibility/new mobility -- being able to readily get between locations -- is more valuable than high-speed mobility.

Also, WalkBikeCT offers up an essay from Todd Litman of the Victoria Transport Policy Institute debunking the safety myth that surrounds travel by car,

that air-tight excuse you'll so often hear from people who have just used their car for a short trip that they could have easily made on bike, on foot, or, gasp -- on the bus. I know this excuse well, it's one I've heard from many a friend, and one I've shamefully employed myself on occasion.

The only real problem with this excuse is that it's not actually true. Driving is not safe. It never was, and it isn't now. Over 40,000 Americans die each year from automobile collisions. Any mode of travel that kills 40,000 people per year cannot rightfully be called "safe".

Also, the National Journal's transportation blog challenges its experts to come up with improvements to the stimulus package, and Kaid Benfield at NRDC's Switchboard looks at how transit has helped create an urban renaissance in Charlotte, NC.