According to the National Safety Council last year was one of the deadliest years ever in motor vehicle crash fatalities.
Over 40,000 people died last year in crashes.
That is a 6% jump from 2015.
To give you a sense of the levity of this situation. The Dangerous by Design report did a 10-year study between 2005 and 2014, at the end of that study 46,149 had been killed in motor vehicle crashes.
Transportation is serious. Your mobility determines if you live or die. It determines if pay your rent or live on the streets. Without being able to move from a to b you cannot live.
Yet transportation that doesn’t involve driving is viewed as a child activity or recreation.
I have never ridden my bicycle in a park or on the side of a mountain as an adult and I ride my bicycle everyday.
In suburban America, where I was born and raise, where we had a big lawn, a big house, I had a car, my dad had a car, my mom had a car, my big sister had a car, we often talk about personal choice.
The choice to live your life the way you want to live your life.
My health and the health of my neighbors is important to me. I should be able to walk on my street. I should be able to jog at 6 a.m. I should be able to ride a bicycle to take short trips.
I shouldn’t have to go around on the back roads where people can’t see me when I can go straight. My taxes are worth the same as everyone else’s and I deserve to be able to safely not drive in North Jersey.
Manhattan is a train ride away from Newark, Bloomfield, Glenridge, Montclair and many other parts of Essex.
Developers are going to build complexes and if we don’t begin to have expectations and standards in regards to not only planning, but transportation we’re going to have a deadly mess. A mess where we will no longer have any choice, because driving on the roads won’t be faster, it will be slower, but walking will still be dangerous and riding a bicycle will be impossible.
The facts tell us what we should do.
We need to plan for roads that welcome shared modalities of transportation or we’re going to kill ourselves in our own traffic.