Critical Thinking: More Safe Streets

Critical Thinking: More Safe Streets

Critical Thinking is an ongoing series highlighting the work of architecture and urbanism thinkers from around the internet.  In each entry I recommend a few of my favorite recent pieces.

(Header image: a sea of bicycles in Venice Beach at a CicLAvia event in March 2017)

This week, as a follow-up to the previous post on “truck control” I’m highlighting discussions of safety for pedestrians and bicyclists in our cities.  There’s never a bad time to talk about how to make our streets safer spaces for everyone, but since the national conversation has already moved past the recent vehicular attack in New York, and on to even bigger tragedies and the latest political firestorms, it’s worth taking a moment to shift back to issues of safe streets.

First up, a couple reminders that the terror on our streets most often comes in the form of impatient or irresponsible drivers.  Here are two of the most egregious recent examples from here in Los Angeles:

A flyer advocating lower speed limits in Joshua Tree, CA, April 2017.

A flyer advocating lower speed limits in Joshua Tree, CA, April 2017.

  • Streetsblog LA reports on a pedestrian who was killed in a Venice crosswalk.  The victim was hit with such force that he was reportedly thrown 30 feet, and yet LAPD and the LA Times perpetuate victim-blaming, describing the victim as “walking into traffic.”

  • More recently, The Eastsider (among others) reports on an 11-year old girl who was killed and four others who were injured at a taco stand in Boyle Heights when an out of control driver slammed into parked cars that jumped the curb and hit the pedestrians.  This is sadly reminiscent of another incident in 2016 when a driver crashed their car into a different Boyle Heights taco stand, killing one man and injuring nine others.

Unsurprisingly, I wasn’t the only one thinking about safe streets in the aftermath of the New York attack.  Here are just a few of the many examples:

Do you know of someone we should feature on Critical Thinking?  Send your recommendations to peopleplacesspaces@gmail.com.