Monday’s Headlines to Start the Week

  • The U.S. DOT recently released its first-ever plan for preventing pedestrian deaths. Drivers killed over 6,000 people on foot last year, up 44 percent from 2010 (Transportation Today). Streetsblog’s Kea Wilson took it to task earlier this month.
  • Despite the fact that one of his top advisers works for Uber, Joe Biden wants to make ride-hailing drivers employees with benefits. (Business Insider)
  • Incoming Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen is a big supporter of a carbon tax to reduce greenhouse gas emissions. (Quartz)
  • A White couple who hurled racial slurs at a Black Uber driver for asking them to wear a mask have been fired, and the driver contracted COVID-19. (Atlanta Black Star)
  • Ugh: Half-a-million pickup truck owners have disabled the emissions monitoring systems in their vehicles, which is worsening pollution, according to the feds. (NY Times)
  • With more than a month to go in the year, New York City already surpassed its 2019 total of 220 traffic deaths (NY Post). Philadelphia’s road death toll has also topped 2o19’s already. Drivers have killed 119 people there, the most since 1997 (WHYY).
  • Some sidewalks in San Francisco are slowly sinking into the bay. (SF Gate)
  • Lost in the shadow of Project Connect, Austin voters also approved a $460-million bond issue for bike lanes, sidewalks, trails and other transportation projects. (Community Impact)
  • Madison’s plan to put bus rapid transit lanes and stations in center turn lanes and medians will elevate the system’s profile and allow more bike lanes to be preserved. (Wisconsin State Journal)
  • A year after Zyp left town, Birmingham has a new bike-share. (Alabama News Center)
  • Tempe’s new streetcar is almost finished and expected to start running by mid-2o22. (AZ Big Media)
  • A new bus rapid transit line in Waco could cut crosstown travel times in half. (Tribune)
  • Well-known Washington, D.C. bike shop owner and ride organizer David Confer needs a liver transplant. (Bicycling)
  • Australians say Uber Eats isn’t checking whether people have a properly maintained bike, or even know how to ride one, before hiring them to deliver food. (The Guardian)


NJ Editor Blames Anyone But Drivers for Pedestrian Deaths

Today on the Streetsblog Network, more windshield perspective from journalists, via WalkBike Jersey. Andy B, the blog’s author (and a frequent commenter on this site), writes about an Atlantic City newspaper editor who has come up with a bizarre theory about who is responsible for the rising tide of pedestrian deaths in the Garden State. […]
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."