Saturday, November 7, 2015

A 9/11 Every Month

Gizmodo has an interactive map that provides information on the 370,000 deaths involving automobiles that occurred in the US between 2004 and 2013.  I'm not clever enough to get a good screenshot for the area, but one can see the results by just entering "Takoma Langley Crossroads" in the search field.  Three things stood out to me in the resulting map:
  1. Lots of people die on the edge of Takoma Park on University Boulevard and New Hampshire Avenue
  2. Most of these people weren't actually in cars but were pedestrians
  3. Literally nobody died during that period in most of the city, which makes sense because the roads were constrained to be low-speed, two-lane routes instead of multi-lane highways 
All of the results follow from the urban design.  As with many things, the undesirable uses were shunted to our part of town and we deal with the consequences, while people in the middle of town can live a nice, sheltered existence.

Two things can improve the situation:
  1. Self-driving cars
  2. Public transportation

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