The Streetsie Awards 2022: Meet Your Transportation Superheroes
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Without further ado, let's end the 2022 Streetsies by celebrating just a few of the transportation heroes who made us proud this year — and inspired us to be even better advocates in 2023.
First up; the Hawai'i kids who sued their state DOT for robbing them of a safe and livable future and their present-day sense of safety and joy, not to mention ancient cultural practices unique to Aloha State communities. We'd say we want to be them when we grow up, but the youngest of them is just nine years old.
Sure, it's a little bit of a humblebrag, but Gabe Klein was on the Streetsblog USA board before he stepped down for a pretty compelling reason: he secured a job with the Biden White House as the head of the Joint Office of Energy and Transportation. Now that it's no longer technically a conflict of interest, we're happy to throw the new Electric Vehicle Czar a Streetsie, particularly because of how often he reminds America that electric vehicles include electric bikes.
One long time Safe Streets luminary we got to know even better this year was Charles T. Brown, who launched the indispensable Arrested Mobility podcast in February, which explores what we can do "to change the outcomes when people of color step out their door to exist in the world." Brown was kind enough to let us share an episode his show on our own newly-launched podcast, The Brake, but we think every episode should be required listening for Streetsblog fans.
National Transportation Safety Board Chair Jennifer Homendy is a tireless champion for systemic reform in the transportation realm, but she sent a particularly powerful message early this year when she slammed the pernicious myth that "94 percent of car crashes are caused by human error." NHTSA removed it from its website soon after.
Finally, a special Streetsie for Dan Langenkamp, who became one of 2022's most impactful safe streets advocates for a tragic and all too-common reason: he lost his wife, celebrated U.S. diplomat Sarah Langeknamp, to a truck crash in August when she was riding her bike in Bethesda, Md.
Dan shares this award with the more than 1,500 cyclists who joined him on the Ride For Your Life to the nation's capitol in November to demand a slate of actions to save lives. Congress at least partially came through on one of those requests, with the announcement that it would devote $45 million to the Active Transportation Infrastructure Investment Program program as part of the 2023 omnibus funding bill. We should all keep fighting to make sure it gets the full $200 million authorized by the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act — and everything else we can to make sure no one ever dies in a car crash on U.S. roads again.