Proof From Jersey That Laws Protecting Crosswalks Don't Endanger Peds

New Jersey is becoming a safer place to walk and bike, new data shows. The state has seen an eight percent decline in traffic fatalities, according to preliminary crash statistics for the year, and the trend is particularly encouraging for pedestrians and cyclists, writes Michelle Ernst at Mobilizing the Region:

nj_sting.jpgA New Jersey police officer on a "crosswalk sting." Photo: Mobilizing the Region

What’s most striking about the statistics is the victim classification
break down. A 25 percent decline in bicycle and pedestrian fatalities
makes up the entire year-to-date reduction in statewide traffic
fatalities.

While passenger and driver fatality rates are unchanged, bicyclist fatalities dropped from 10 to 7 and pedestrian fatalities
dropped from 106 to 80, compared to the same period last year. Ernst discusses the role some statewide legal reforms may have played in the reduction:

Obviously there isn’t enough data to show causality between the decline
in fatalities and New Jersey’s recently passed law requiring drivers to
stop and stay stopped” for pedestrians in crosswalks, or the ensuing crackdown on motorists who fail to yield. But the numbers certainly help allay concerns that the law would increase pedestrian fatalities by emboldening people to — horror! — cross the street.

Also on the Network, Grist explains how Ryan Rzepecki’s "Social Bicycle" bike-sharing system works; Austin Two Wheels makes the case for bicycle infrastructure using data from New York City; and Dead Horse Times calls for "micro-routes" to help fill the void left by the elimination of a bus route in Portland.

  • Using a percentage to note a drop from 10 to 7 is incredibly misleading.

  • tn

    Using a percentage to note a drop in pedestrian deaths from 106 to 80 doesn’t strike me as “incredibly misleading.” That’s a significant sample size. The statistics refered to in the article included both pedestrian and bicyclist deaths.

  • I like the picture of the crosswalk sting. Can you imagine how many tickets NYC could generate for “failure to yield” on that kind of action in any number of midtown streets? I like to walk almost as much as to bike, but boy do I hate to cross the street in NYC and not know if the car coming up next to me is going to fly through the crosswalk on a right turn.

    Yikes.

    In some other cities they have used volunteer senior citizens, (brave ones, I guess,) with cops watching the motorist’s response.

    There was also something funny a while back on this blog about a city that used a guy in a huge bunny suit. As in, if you won’t stop for this bunny, where are your eyes?

    Ben

  • Mike

    It’s too early to conclude anything. As written in the blog:

    “Ernst discusses the role some statewide legal reforms may have played in the reduction:

    ‘Obviously there isn’t enough data to show causality between the decline in fatalities and New Jersey’s recently passed law requiring drivers to “stop and stay stopped” for pedestrians in crosswalks, or the ensuing crackdown on motorists who fail to yield.'”

  • AMH

    Thorough overview–thanks!

  • Matt R

    I am presently doing a literature review on streets and tolling has shown to create externalities, especially on the poor. The researcher suggested a better method instead of tolling was subsidizing transit. The social benefits amounts to many billions. If tolls were created, the revenue could easily cover transit subsidies and counter act the negative externalities it creates. But the lack of oversight as covered in this article is scary.

  • That’s not how the voters have spoken.

  • Matt R

    I’m sorry, troll. I wasn’t talking to you. I was responding to the article. Which you didn’t mention. So I wasn’t talking to you. Bye-bye now. .

    The “voters” elected Hillary, the “electoral congress” voted for Trump, but this argument will go over your head so why bother? Bye now. Go back to your cave.

  • We need more “watchdogs”.

  • SUMAN SAMANTA

    Amazing blog it was helpful for me. Thanks for the post.

  • Libertyscott

    Point 1 is valid, but much wider than these issues.

    Point 2 is true, but transferring all the risk to the concessionaire means they bear the cost. The Australian toll road failures have been born entirely by investors, but the roads remain.

    Point 3 is the same for publicly funded projects. It’s unclear why it is worse that people who invest take risks by having companies invest in portfolios including toll roads vs the paucity of serious economic scrutiny of road spending in a non-commercial politically motivated environment. It’s astonishing how poor the quality of spending or scrutiny of spending is in the US, compared to the UK, Australia or NZ, which explains the oddity of new highway projects on networks that are badly maintained.

    Point 4 this is true, which is why specialised agencies or companies need to be set up to do this. US DOTs are not well equipped with this, but foreign agencies are as has been pointed out.

  • Joe R.

    There’s a good reason Trump hasn’t released his tax returns. You’ll get a lot of people who don’t understand tax law moaning that “he paid no taxes”. Whether you agree with it or not, it’s legal to carry business losses which exceed profits over to the following years. This could well mean one year with a very large loss is followed by a decade of paying no income taxes. This is apparently what happened. Now perhaps the big loss was mostly a paper loss, or perhaps Trump put money in shady entities which exist for no reason other than to provide paper losses, but the fact is he probably followed the law, at least as far as his tax returns were concerned. A big problem releasing them would be the media circus which would follow. Doubtless they would be going through every business venture with a fine tooth comb and commenting on whether the losses were really valid. And given how complex tax laws are, we might never really get any valid answer to that. To me the tax returns would be a needless distraction at a time when the nation needs to focus on more important things. If anything, they just put more imperative to simplifying our tax system so it consists solely of sales taxes and user fees, not individual or corporate income taxes. The latter two just serve to keep an army of accountants in business.

  • neroden

    Income taxes are absolutely necessary in order to prevent a small number of aristocrats from accumulating so much money that they can buy Congress and buy the Presidency.

    …which has, of course, now happened. I blame Reagan, who cut the top income tax rate (the one which matters) from 70% to 33%.

    The top rate, the rate on billionaires, needs to be in the 70% – 95% range. This is very important in order to prevent a few billionaires from getting so powerful that they can buy the government.

    This is the main function of the income tax. It shouldn’t be necessary for average people to pay income tax.

  • Jake

    Clinton spent about $2 for every $1 Trump spent. If you can “buy” the presidency then she should have had it hands down.

    Income tax is a good thing: it taxes people based on their ability to pay and provides a counterbalance to the “rents” that come just from being wealthy. It also has the benefit of being easy to verify since it’s reported separately by the employer and employee. But your partisan jab doesn’t really reflect reality.

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