Former NTSB official says no deaths should be the only goal, legalize crossing the street, and building the 15 minute city

She gets it.

A former acting chair and board member of the NTSB says we know how to prevent traffic deaths.

And the only rational goal should be zero.

Sometimes I arrived at the scene of a business jet or helicopter crash, other times it was a train derailment, once it was a cargo ship lost in a hurricane — always, it involved a tragic loss of life. But despite the terrible toll of motor vehicle deaths on our nation, I never launched to the scene of a traffic crash. Why? Perhaps because the NTSB only has the capacity to investigate a handful of vehicle crashes each year. Perhaps because there weren’t any crashes classified as major disasters when I was on duty. But in 2019, more than 36,000 deaths were recorded on U.S. roads, so an average of nearly 700 traffic deaths occurred every week I was on duty.

Yet our nation doesn’t think of a traffic crash as a disaster, since deaths typically occur one or two at a time. Many of us don’t believe that every road death is preventable. As a nation, we haven’t yet decided that we can protect everyone, including the most vulnerable among us who use our streets and highways — people who are younger or older, people who are walking or biking, people with disabilities. We accept tens of thousands of deaths on our roads every year as simply unavoidable “accidents,” even though we have proven solutions to prevent them.

It’s worth a few minutes to read.

Because she’s right. There’s no acceptable number of traffic deaths.

And it’s long past time we did something about it.

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Los Angeles Walks is joining with partners across the state on Monday for a national discussion about jaywalking and efforts to decriminalize it.

Like their sponsorship of AB 1238, aka the Freedom to Walk Act, which would get rid of California’s jaywalking law, which is too often used to target people of color.

You can register for the webinar here.

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Streets For All hosts what promises to be a fascinating discussion with the creator of the Paris 15 Minute City Plan on May 11th.

The plan, which is currently being implemented in Paris, promises to put everything you need within a 15-minute walk, bike or transit ride, anywhere in the city.

The LA transportation PAC is also asking for you to take a stand in support for a proposal to make Calfornia’s Slow Streets permanent by emailing the Assembly Committee on Local Government by this coming Wednesday.

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Give credit where credit is due.

Unless you’re LADOT, evidently.

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Bike Talk discusses the bible of traffic engineers this Friday, which is undergoing its first revision in a decade.

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A periodic reminder that bicycle are mobility devices.

And bike lanes help older and disabled people get around, without having to rely on a car.

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Hats off to a kindhearted Cambridge MA cop, who took a few moments out of his day for an impromptu bike ride with a little boy.

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The war on cars may be a myth, but the war on bikes is all too real.

A British bicyclist had to call off a fundraising ride across the country after a group of jerks men pushed him off his bike around the hallway point. Which makes the real victims the cancer charity he was raising funds for, and the people they could have helped.

Sometimes, it’s the people on two wheels behaving badly.

Police in Ontario, Canada are looking for a bike rider who fled the scene after crashing his bike into a trash bin, while towing a trailer filled with 31 pounds of cannabis. And a guitar.

A bike-riding British thief uses his head to balance the spa he just stole.

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Local

No news is good news, right?

 

State

San Diego opens a new South Bay campground and bike park. But not together, unfortunately.

A Bakersfield bike path could be underwater through today, thanks to a water line break.

Speaking of Bakersfield, the city will kick off Bike Month with a solidarity ride this Saturday.

Trek CEO John Burke penned a heartfelt ode to his penpal Joe Shami, the 86-year old Legend of Mount Diablo, who was killed in a collision with a driver on yet another ride up the mountain earlier this month.

Bay Area transportation officials marked the beginning of Bike Month by announcing nine Bike Champion of the Year winners, honoring one person from each county in the Bay region for their commitment to bicycling.

The rich get richer. The Sacramento region is planning a bike freeway network connecting area cities, which could require an another 300 miles of trails in addition to the 450 miles already on the ground.

 

National

The Associated Press says give mom an ebike this year.

Outside says it’s time for a federal ebike tax credit.

AARP takes a look a look at bicycling over 55, including what to look for in a new bike, bikes for people with mobility issues, how to be safer on your bike, and eight of the nation’s top rail trails, including the Monterey Bay Coastal Recreation Trail.

Pop Sugar recommends ten padded bike shorts to make your ride — and presumably, your wallet — more comfortable.

Bicycling considers how to advocate for and protect the trails you ride this summer. As usual, you can read it on Yahoo if Bicycling blocks you. And they probably will.

Even Honolulu is building a protected bike lane network.

The newest edition of Oregon’s state bicycling manual gets rid of labels in favor of more inclusive people-first language.

In a common lament across the country, Omaha, Nebraska has more bikeshare bikes than ever. Just not enough safe places to ride them.

They get it. A new survey shows Pittsburgh residents overwhelmingly support bike lanes, walking routes and reduced speed limits. And think traffic injuries are a major problem. Maybe someday someone will finally get around to asking Angelenos those same questions, so our elected leaders might finally see that the car-first crowd is just a very loud minority.

New York has sent a cease and desist order to a new rival to the city’s Citi Bike bikeshare system, saying the privately run dockless bikeshare isn’t authorized to do business in the city.

A New Jersey DJ pleads with lightless and scofflaw bicyclists to stay safe.

In an overly familiar story, DC traffic deaths continue to climb while Vision Zero funding is stuck in limbo.

Camila Cabello is one of us, as she goes for a bike ride through the streets of Miami.

 

International

Road.cc offers 14 tips on how to make your bike more comfortable. I’m a big fan of padded gloves, new bar tape and better insoles myself.

He gets it. A writer for Innovation Origins says we need more and better bike paths, not more helmet laws.

This is who we share the road with. A newlywed English teenager gets a well-deserved year behind bars for stealing a crate of eggs, then driving his car while friends threw the eggs out the window at passing people and cars, permanently blinding a motorcycle rider in his right eye with a direct hit. He took the fall for his friends, refusing to name who actually tossed the eggs.

Princess Di’s “shame” mixte bike sold for the equivalent of over $61,000, which the palace forced her to sell before her ill-fated marriage to Prince Chuck; the bike went for more than twice the presale estimate.

Add this to your bike bucket list, with eleven “of the best and most beautiful places” to ride your bike in Scotland.

Rouleur looks at the 18k gold framed bike famed Italian bikemaker Ernesto Colnago made for Pope — now Saint — John Paul II.

Heartbreaking story from India, where an elderly man was forced to carry his dead wife’s body on his bicycle for hours after villagers blocked him from the local crematorium for fear of Covid-19, even though there was no confirmation she ever had the disease.

 

Finally…

That feeling when God tells you to start a weekly bike night at the local skatepark.

And let’s consign “savages” to the racist dustbin of history. Even in reference to some truly despicable bike thieves.

Oh, and it’s “thief,” not “thieve.”

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Be safe, and stay healthy. And wear a mask

And get vaccinated, already.

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