Smart Growth America has released Dangerous by Design 2016. The research looks at the epidemic of pedestrian deaths across the United States and how changing the way we build our streets can help address it. The Tampa Bay Area (Tampa, St. Petersburg, Clearwater), listed as the 2nd most dangerous place for walking in every previous report, has dropped to the 7th spot. MPO Executive Director Beth Alden shared these comments on the Vision Zero facebook, “We have our work cut out for us to be *less* dangerous by design! But the right people are working together, right now, to turn that around. Through complete street redesigns, targeted enforcement, educating seniors, children, and all ages in between, and developing a Vision Zero Action Plan, we are raising awareness of this issue which is so critical to our community. Please keep spreading the word that speeding is not OK!”
Workshop 2 of the Vision Zero Coalition included a walking tour of the downtown area of Town & Country. Solutions for safer travel were discussed that will help residents trying to get to the Senior Center and Webb Middle School, as well as empower visitors to the community center and library to travel without fearing for their lives.
With motor vehicle speeds as one of the main concerns of the Vision Zero Coalition, you can imagine how reassuring is was to read the words of former President of the International Institute of Transportation Engineers (ITE) Paula Flores (Benway) in her outgoing message. Her inspiring letter included these highlights:
- Element ContentThe number of fatalities and severe injuries is staggering. Numerically, the death toll in the United States is equivalent to multiple jetliners crashing each week.
- It’s nearly three times the number of Americans killed annually in homicides by guns. Yet there is no corresponding sustained outrage at the persistence of needless and preventable deaths.
- Every road user places trust in both fellow road users and those who plan, design, construct, maintain, operate, enforce, and support transportation systems.
- Many crashes could be eliminated simply by the drivers slowing down, paying attention, and staying sober.
- If you are not talking about controlling speeds, you are not talking about Vision Zero.
- Vision Zero requires a new way of thinking about safety. We have applauded recent efforts of cities successfully lowering city-wide speeds to those appropriate to the context of the community
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