Monday’s Headlines to Start the Week Off Right

  • Having armed police enforce traffic laws actually does little to make streets safer. Design and education are more important. (LAist)
  • A new poll found that 39 percent of California voters support Prop 22, the effort backed by Uber and Lyft to overturn the state’s gig-worker law, while 36 percent oppose it and 25 percent are undecided. (Forbes)
  • Cities should be investing in infrastructure to make sure the pandemic bike boom is permanent. (Fast Company)
  • The pandemic has accelerated the trend toward flexible work patterns, more walkable neighborhoods and fewer cars in cities. (The Guardian)
  • The Driven has extensive coverage of Tesla’s announcement that it’s working on a new battery that will make electric vehicles cheaper and reduce their environmental impact. But experts say it’s still years off, and the company might not be able to bring down costs as much as it says.
  • Federal infrastructure programs designed to build highways in the 1950s no longer give cities and states enough flexibility to meet their needs, according to a new report from the Brookings Institute.
  • Off-board fare collection, dedicated lanes, stop consolidation and signal priority can help speed up buses and lure more people to ride them. (Pedestrian Observations)
  • Austin has some of the worst traffic in the country; drivers killed 89 people last year; and fines and fees hit those the least able to pay them the hardest. The Project Connect transit plan is a once-in-a-generation opportunity to fix all that. (Austin Chronicle)
  • In other news out of Austin, the city’s B-Cycle bike-share is rebranding as MetroBike and will be integrated into the public transit system. (Monitor)
  • Oklahoma City opened its first protected bike lane on Bike to Work Day last Thursday. (Fox 25)
  • The L.A. Metro bike-share’s “smart bikes” proved to be unpopular because of their limited service range and are being replaced. (CBS Los Angeles)
  • Bike sales are up more than 50 percent in Oregon compared to last year. (Bike Portland)
  • The Illinois Railway Museum is restoring one of the few surviving early-20th-century streetcars. (Terre Haute Tribune-Star)


Photo: Hipskind and McAnich, CC

Report: US Pedestrian Death Rate Increased 9x Faster Than Population During COVID

Pedestrian deaths are continuing to skyrocket as the pandemic drags on — and since 2019, analysts say the death rate for walkers has eclipsed the rate of population growth by a factor of at least nine. According to the latest fatality estimates from the Governor's Highway Safety Association, U.S. drivers killed 3,434 people on foot in the first six months of 2022, an increase of five percent over the same period the prior year — and a staggering 18 percent increase over the number of walkers who died in early 2019, the last year before the pandemic.  The group also pointed out that those numbers can't easily be explained by non-traffic-related factors, noting that since "2019, the last pre-pandemic year, pedestrian fatalities have surged 18 percent in just three years – nine times faster than U.S. population growth."
Photo: ## North Iowa Journal##

Why Preventing Car Crashes Saves Everyone Money

Deaths from traffic violence have declined sharply because of the COVID-19 shutdown — and a new study shows that states and their residents are seeing a financial benefit. But don’t get too excited: Drivers likely got the most savings. Researchers at the University of California Davis found that California and its residents saved a collective […]