Wednesday, July 7, 2010

The (bleak) Future of Personal Transportation

The combination of reading this post from NYC Streetsblog about how pedestrian crashes are the top danger for kids in the Big Apple and this report on the future of personal transportation in the world's mega-cities (hint, the authors don't predict more foot travel) got me riled up for the umpteenth time about the dangers of pedestrian travel, particularly in the developing world. I've copied one of the report's tables that I find particularly distressing:

Likely changes in personal transportation in metropolitan areas by 2025

See all those little "++"s under road fatalities in Latin American and Asian countries? Those represent people dying, folks. And by "people," I mostly mean poor people, because that's the demographic that gets hit hardest--so to speak--by this trend. On top of it all, children, the elderly, and other particularly vulnerable road users are sure to be overrepresented in those statistics, since they are the ones most likely to be killed or injured in vehicle crashes.

All the more reason that the work of pedestrian advocacy groups like the Right To Walk Foundation in India and ABRASPE in Brazil is so important. Now if only we could get something started in Shanghai...

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