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CARS SAFER ONLY FOR THOSE INSIDE AS PED & CYCLISTS DEATHS RISE
-> StreetsblogUSA reported fatal car crashes are down for the second straight year across the nation -- but the number of pedestrians and cyclists killed by motorists are up again, further evidence that cars are getting safer only for people inside the vehicle. According to final 2018 data released by NHTSA (2018 Fatal Motor Vehicle Crashes: Overview: http://bit.ly/2NpxZAM), pedestrian deaths were up 3.4% last year -- rising from 6,075 to 6,283 -- continuing an unbroken upward trend in the U.S. since 2009, when 4,109 pedestrians were killed by motorists. Cyclists are also being killed in higher numbers. In 2018, 857 bicyclists were killed nationwide, up from 806, an increase of 6.3%. Following a trend that has continued since the rise of the SUV in the late 1990s, the proportion of fatalities occurring outside of cars rose from a low of 20% in 1996 to a high of 34% in 2018. http://bit.ly/34dhYV9
ASPHALT ART: PAINT BLACKTOP, TRANSFORM COMMUNITIES
-> CityLab reported Bloomberg Associates, in collaboration with Street Plans Collaborative, announced the Asphalt Art Initiative (https://bloombg.org/2Pxvw9Z) on Monday in an effort to spur more roadway and pedestrian interventions on a blacktop canvas. Asphalt Art: visual interventions on roadways (intersections and crosswalks), pedestrian spaces (plazas and sidewalks), and vertical infrastructure (utility boxes, traffic barriers and underpasses). Colorful designs can have traffic-calming effects on roadways, identify space for pedestrians, or even simply make underpasses and road barriers less of an eyesore. Projects like this can also be an avenue for community engagement within a changing city. Along with the new street guide (https://bloombg.org/36dhqAy), Bloomberg Philanthropies announced a competition: Ten small and mid-sized American cities (30,000 to 500,000 residents) can receive up to $25,000 each to implement their own arts-driven transportation projects to be completed by the end of 2020.
Unconventional crosswalks are opening up a gray area for local transportation planning, as FHWA has been asking cities to remove colorful street markings to comply with its strict federal safety guidelines. Asked about this, the Asphalt Art team recommended cities take a "don't ask for permission, ask for forgiveness" approach. See photo examples of vivid Asphalt Art and more details: http://bit.ly/2qNmM5d
[See more details about the Asphalt Art Guide in the Resources section.]
[See more details about the Asphalt Art competition in the Jobs, Grants & RFPs section.]
GAO FLAGS SHORTCOMINGS OF TRAFFIC SAFETY DATA
-> Route Fifty reported the federal government and states direct billions of dollars each year toward programs that are intended to make the nation's roads safer and to cut down on the thousands of serious and fatal crashes. But they have some work to do when it comes to assembling and reporting the data that helps to guide how this money is spent and that provides insight into the results that the spending is achieving, the Government Accountability Office suggests in a new report. (Improved Reporting Could Clarify States' Achievement of Fatality and Injury Targets: http://bit.ly/31W7Sqf) GAO made 2 main recommendations and DOT officials concurred with both: 1) NHTSA should provide more direction and clarification to ensure that states comply with requirements to report their progress toward achieving targets for limiting traffic fatalities; and 2) it should come up with a system for informing Congress and others whether states are meeting their benchmarks for limiting fatalities and serious injuries. http://bit.ly/2qOEkxR
LAWMAKERS INTRODUCE FEDERAL VISION ZERO ACT
-> Smart Cities Dive reported 3 bipartisan 3 US Representatives introduced the Vision Zero Act (http://bit.ly/2WuksvJ), building on the efforts already underway in more than 40 communities across the country. Under the legislation, federal transportation funding and grants would be made available for more communities to design and implement Vision Zero programs, with the goal of eliminating all transportation-related fatalities. The bill would revise the soon-to-expire Fixing America's Surface Transportation (FAST) Act to give jurisdictions with Vision Zero plans access to almost $15 billion in funds from the Surface Transportation Block Grants, the Congestion Mitigation and Air Quality Improvement program and the Highway Safety Improvement program. http://bit.ly/2WmDsMO
KIDS RAISED IN WALKABLE CITIES EARN MORE MONEY AS ADULTS
-> CityLab reported children who live in walkable neighborhoods have higher levels of upward economic mobility according to a new study published in the American Psychologist. (The socioecological psychology of Upward Social Mobility: http://bit.ly/2Jx4JHd) The study looks at the effect of growing up in a walkable community on the economic mobility of children. The walkability measure comes from Walk Score. The economic mobility measure is based on the detailed data developed by economist Raj Chetty and his research team. Researchers found the more walkable an area is (as indexed by Walkscore.com), the more likely Americans whose parents were in the lowest income quintile are to have reached the highest income quintile by their 30s. http://bit.ly/2PvNmub
AIR QUALITY IN EUROPE: POLLUTION CONTINUES TO KILL
-> The European Cyclists' Federation reported air pollution continues to harm the health of European citizens as well as the performance of the European Economy. A new report by the European Environment Agency shows that exposure to high-levels of air pollution caused 412,000 premature deaths in 2016. (Air quality in Europe -- 2019 report: http://bit.ly/36kjfLV) Despite minor improvements, pollution levels regularly exceeded European Union limits and World Health Organization guidelines. Cycling and active mobility have become more important and powerful than ever. At the current levels, cycling saves 16 Million tons of CO2 per year and prevents 18,110 premature deaths per year in the EU. http://bit.ly/2JwZozm
WOULD CONNECTED BIKES GET MORE PEOPLE TO RIDE?
-> The Transportation Research and Education Center (TREC) at Portland State University described a report that explores how connected vehicle (CV) technologies, in which your vehicle receives and reacts to information from other vehicles and the built environment, could encourage an increase in bicycling. (How Technology Can Affect the Demand for Bicycle Transportation: The State of Technology and Projected Applications of Connected Bicycles: http://bit.ly/2Ps7A7R) The report reviews existing and prototyped "connected bicycle" technologies and discusses the potential of each technology to mitigate known barriers to cycling. It provides context into the societal needs of bicycling and current strategies to increase the bicycle mode share, the potential of bicycle-to-vehicle and bicycle-to-infrastructure technologies, and the future needs and expected pathways of connected bicycle technologies.
PRACTICAL MEASURES FOR EQUITABLE CLIMATE CHANGE RESPONSE
-> The Victoria, Australia Council of Social Services released a report that adopts a ‘climate equity' approach to determine the practical measures the city should take to respond to climate change fairly. (A Climate of Fairness: Making Victoria's Climate Change Fair & Equitable: http://bit.ly/36irB72) Climate equity poses a simple question: who should shoulder the heaviest burden when responding to climate change? A truly equitable response to climate change puts the people, communities and organizations that are being hardest hit by global warming at the forefront of decision-making, planning and delivery--and funds them accordingly. It prioritizes support to those individuals and groups who need the most assistance to adapt to the changing climate. Among their 21 recommendations are improve public transport in areas where people are financially, socially and physically disadvantaged; and ensure public transport is accessible, particularly for people with a disability.
AUSTRALIA: HELMET LAW POLICING TARGETS VULNERABLE RIDERS
-> The Conversation reported ongoing research in New South Wales, Australia shows mandatory helmet laws have become a tool of disproportionate penalties and aggressive policing. Along with an up-surge in enforcement, fines have increased massively. And some police are using bike helmet laws to expand their powers to stop and search riders. The impacts on already disadvantaged groups -- particularly young, poor and Aboriginal people -- are profound and troubling. Riding without a helmet is one of many bike-related on-the-spot fines under the NSW Road Rules 2014, but it's the one most commonly issued by police. The offense once carried a small fine of A$73 (US$50). In 2016, ostensibly as part of a package of cyclist safety measures (including making it an offense for a vehicle driver to fail to pass a cyclist at a safe distance), the fine was hiked to A$325 (US223)-- a 445% overnight increase. It is now A$344 (US$236). http://bit.ly/2BUDkLa
WALK/BIKE/PLACES CALL FOR PROPOSALS OPENS NOV. 12
-> The next Walk/Bike/Places conference in Indianapolis, IN August 4-7, 2020 will focus on implementation. (http://bit.ly/2QdU3mz) With your help, conference organizer Project for Public Spaces seeks to build a program that will move government officials at all levels to build a transportation system that preserves the health and safety of all users, promotes social connections, and reduces the environmental impact of our travel. The Call for Proposals will open on November 12 at 5:00 pm. See details at http://bit.ly/31XVKow.
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