The 2022 Streetsie Awards: Policies Worth Applauding
After a three-year hiatus we’re bringing back our year-end Streetsie Awards — and we’re starting with some good news.
Despite some significant bummers, street safety advocates posted some major legislative wins in 2022, and got the ball rolling on a few innovative initiatives that we hope will spawn copycats in 2023.
Here are a few of the standouts:
Believe it or not, 2022 was the first year that the U.S. Department of Transportation made it unequivocally clear that the only acceptable number of road deaths is zero, and outlined a plan to reach that goal. It’s not perfect, but the very existence of the the National Roadway Safety Strategy definitely deserves a Streetsie.
Another one for the not-perfect-but-still-a-big-deal files: the new greenhouse gas emissions rule that will require states, for the first time, to track their transportation sector emissions. Transportation for America’s Beth Osborne called it “our top ask for administrative action”; we call it Streetsie-worthy.
Thanks to the passage of the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act in 2021, Pete Buttigieg started writing big checks to communities in 2022 – and a lot of them went to sustainable transportation projects. That’s why we’re giving a nod to the folks behind US DOT’s discretionary grant programs for using their, well, discretion to prioritize sustainability, equity, and safety, even in programs for which those tenets aren’t the usual criteria. (Who would have thought a program aimed at improving freight delivery times could be used to tear down a highway in Detroit? More of that in 2023, please.)
Local rebates have been taking off across the country for a few years, but we didn’t have the first statewide e-bike incentive until 2022. High fives to Vermont for making it happen. (At the local level, Denver’s blockbuster e-bike incentive deserves a big shout-out too.)
A lot of communities are finally understanding why policing pedestrians for walking “wrong” is so dangerous, particularly for BIPOC. Kudos to the handful of places that had the vision to approve or enact jaywalking reforms in 2022, like Virginia, Nevada, and California.
This one isn’t actually a law yet (and some doubt it’ll make it across the finish line), but we applaud the boldness of a proposed New York bill that would institute a statewide speed governor requirement on all new cars. If NHTSA won’t do it, smaller communities should do whatever they can pick up the slack, despite what the haters say.
There were too many local legislative victories to count in 2022, but we want to shine a special spotlight on these two policies from Washington D.C. that we wish would take off everywhere: banning rights on red and charging SUV drivers more to drive in places people walk.
And finally, a strong late-round entry from Emeryville, Calif., which put a seat at every bus stop in town in just seven months. May this small but might city be an example to every ward in every district in America.