U.S. traffic fatalities hit a twenty-year peak in the first quarter of 2022.
The first quarter of 2022 saw the highest number of traffic deaths in two decades, reports Daniel C. Vock for Route Fifty. Dashing hopes that the trend of rising fatalities would slow as the risky behaviors exacerbated by the pandemic subsided, data show that 9,540 people died on U.S. roads between January and March of 2022.
The trend isn’t uniform across the country. “The highest increases came in the mid-Atlantic region, which saw a 52% jump in deaths,” while road deaths in the far western states, the only region to see a decrease, declined by 11 percent.
According to Vock, “Safety advocates are growing increasingly frustrated that the issue has not sparked more concern – or at least a new approach – among policymakers at the federal, state and local levels.” Critics of the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) say the federal agency could do more by regulating vehicle design to avoid blind spots, reining in Tesla and other carmakers who disingenuously promote autonomous features that lead to unsafe driving, and adjusting vehicle safety tests to include pedestrians and other people outside the car.
While many safety efforts focus on driver behavior, some advocates say the government should take a stronger role in regulating the vehicles and infrastructure that can help keep people safe by applying a ‘safe systems’ approach. As Jessie Singer points out in her book of the same name, “there are no accidents.” To protect citizens, the government can, as Singer puts it, “Apply a harm-reduction model to every corner of the built environment.”
Indiana Once Again Considering Ban on Dedicated Transit Lanes
The proposed legislation would impact the construction of planned IndyGo Blue Line, the third phase of the city’s bus rapid transit system.
LA’s ‘Spongy’ Infrastructure Captured Almost 9 Billion Gallons of Water
The city is turning away from stormwater management practices that shuttle water to the ocean, building infrastructure that collects and directs it underground instead.
Investors Snapping Up Record-High Number of Affordable Homes
High interest rates and record-high prices are driving investors to focus on homes in the lower price tier, exacerbating inventory shortages and pushing regular home buyers out of the market.
Federal Office Conversion Program Slow to Start
To date, no loans have closed through a federal program meant to spur office-to-residential conversions.
How Capturing Rainwater Can Make Cities Safer, More Resilient
Green infrastructure can help prevent flooding and replenish groundwater supplies, preventing subsidence that makes land sink.
Boston’s Blue Hill Avenue to Get BRT, Safety Improvements
The key bus corridor serves over 37,000 bus riders daily.
Tufts University Department of Urban and Environmental Policy and Planning
City of Grand Forks, North Dakota
HUD's Office of Policy Development and Research
City of Birmingham, Alabama
City of Laramie, Wyoming
Colorado Department of Local Affairs
This six-course series explores essential urban design concepts using open source software and equips planners with the tools they need to participate fully in the urban design process.