World Streets maintains a watching brief and reports from time to time on mandatory helmet laws in different parts of the world. (For more on this: http://goo.gl/H8mEHm .) Ian Ker reports here from Perth with a case study of mandatory bicycle helmet laws in West Australia , as presented to the 29 May 2014 VeloCity Global Conference in Adelaide.
In memoriam 2013
Streetsblog: Doing its job year after year in New York City.
Each year our friends over at Streetsblog in New York City publish a heart-rending testimonial to the mayhem that automobiles have wrought over the year on their city’s streets and the cost in terms of lives lost by innocent pedestrians and cyclists. Putting names, faces and human tragedy to what otherwise takes the form of dry numbers, faceless hence quickly forgettable statistics is an important task. We can only encourage responsible citizens and activists in every city on the planet to do the same thing, holding those public officials (and let’s not forget, “public servants”) responsible for what goes on under their direct control.
Who is doing this job in your city?
Based on the recent article that has just appeared in the Toronto Star under the heading “Get pedestrians off Toronto roads . . .” (goo.gl/ZPRDZp). World Streets would like to express our great admiration of our gentle northern brothers and sisters, Faced with these unnecessary dangers on the road, we have been led to understand that the government and an alliance of all major political parties of the lovely city of Toronto is giving serious consideration to requiring Universal Walking Licenses for all. These would be issued only to people who have satisfactorily completed course work and dress classes in the Toronto Walking Academies and who have passed rigorous final public tests on the street with Toronto’s Finest.
According to the latest WHO data published in April 2011 Road Traffic Accidents Deaths in Malaysia reached 8,031 or 7.85% of total deaths. The age adjusted Death Rate is 34.53 per 100,000 of population, ranking Malaysia #20 in the world. Roughly one third of all traffic accidents have childen as the victims. Review other causes of death by clicking the links below or choose the full health profile.
Top 20 Causes of Death Malaysia
- Anumita Roychowdhury, Dehli. 6 Mar, 2013
Catalysing safe design for public spaces should be among the top priorities to make cities safe for women, children and elderly
I first let this pass without comment—the Rs 1,000 crore Nirbhaya fund for women’s safety proposed in the Union Bdget. Many have glossed over this with a reverent salute to quickly move on to the hard numbers of this stark accounting document. Others are angry, outraged, and dismissive of this fund as tokenism and populism with no clarity of mandate. But I read that paragraph in the budget speech once again.
My attention was riveted to this observation: “As more women enter public spaces—for education or work or access to services or leisure—there are more reports of violence against them.” The operative word here is “public spaces”. Of course, Chidambaram has used this literally to state the obvious. But if we were to join the dots to write the terms of reference for the ministry of women and child development and other ministries to define the scope and structure of the ‘Nirbhaya fund’, then catalysing safe design for “public spaces” would be among the top priorities.
Transport in cities is a steep uphill affair. If we ever are to transform the quality of the mobility arrangements in our cities, there are certain basic truths about it that need to be repeated again and again. By different people, in different places and in different ways.
Cycling in most cities: You and I know it. It is broke. It cannot be “fixed”. It needs to be reinvented from the street up. All of which is easy enough to say, but what in concrete terms does that mean? This article which appeared in the Guardian a few days back by Peter Walker, reports on the testimony of Dave Horton a cycling sociologist who pounds the table on five basic truths of cycling in cities.
Tarun Sharma reports from New Delhi about safe walking and quality of life in cities, with the help of two concepts of hierarchies. One is Maslow’s hierarchy of needs, and the other is the food chain. He looks at these two concepts not so much on scientific as intuitive grounds. And he offers it not to solve a policy problem, but to state the obvious in an obvious way. His focus is on one of the aspects of city living, namely mobility. Continue reading
After considerable and at times quite contentious discussions over the last months with colleagues around the world through various discussion fora, programs and personal visits, we have decided to make one of the principal themes of our work here at World Streets for the coming year that of Safe Streets.
No matter how many times I have been to the Netherlands, how many times I have ridden next to parked cars, nor how many times as a driver have I leapt from my vehicle, in all that time and in all those places I never learned how do the Dutch get out of a car. But I should have and Russell Shorto explains why. Continue reading
Today starts the “Decade of Action for Road Safety 2011-2020“, a collaboration between the World Health Organization (WHO) and other partners. The “Wear. Believe. Act” website, which is the official page of the campaign, is hosted by the FIA Foundation, which also supports the campaign’s “Road Safety Fund”. The Road Safety Fund – a legally distinct UK charity – is co-chaired by the Director General of the FIA Foundation (FIAf – the reason for the little “f” will become self-evident shortly). Confused? Well, anyway, before I mention the graphic above, I will explain why I have not included a link to FIAf: This is because none of the pages above link to FIAf, or – I really did look around – describe what it is.
[The latest and most compete posting of this aritcle will be found in World Streets, along with extensive comments, at http://worldstreets.wordpress.com/2011/03/02/a-street-code-for-porto-alegre/]
Dear Porto Alegre and Brazilian Friends,
With all due respect, I propose that you give some thought to organizing to get strong citizen and multi-party support to exact “appropriate compensation” for Friday’s horrible, dumb and indeed tragic event on the streets of your beautiful city. I would imagine that this is an ideal opportunity to get something very important and far-sighed out of a shaken city administration. Time counts here. You should thus, be able to exact what you need today far better than just one week ago. Or a month or more from now once the heat has dissipated.
The United States Environmental Protections Agency, EPA, should really be discussing the allocation of risk. A large curb radius for example transfers risk from the speeding driver to the pedestrian. The issue is that speed and convenience embody an energy bill whose consequences are not repatriated on the basis of least harm to public safety. While the consequences are local, an injury on your street corner, the impact under NAFTA, etc., of comparative or qualitative instead of preventive risk assessment is habitat destructive. Gladwyn d’Souza comments. Continue reading
When it comes to transportation and mobility, public health is an issue which has not gotten nearly enough consideration as a key decision factor either when it comes to making decisions about new investments nor concerning how we manage what we have already built. It is one of those topics that everybody talks about it, but few do much about it once the blood has dried on the street on any given day. And if public health most immediately conjures up images of air pollution and respiratory infections, particulates and disease, obesity and declining physical fitness, noise and stress, there are also of course the very important safety, injuries and accidents metrics that need to be considered. And then of course there is murder. Read on to get a perspective on this from Delhi. One that has parallels in many other large cities at all levels of economic development anywhere in the world. Continue reading
Paris, Tuesday, 04 January, 2011
I like this very much and agree that it would make a good piece for World Streets to help move along the active travel/school agenda one more notch. For us, the very idea of children making their way to school safely and under their own steam is something that we have adhered to with vigor for many years now.
Two quick thoughts for you should you wish to go ahead with this: Continue reading
Each year our friends over at Streetsblog in New York City publish a heart-rending testimonial to the mayhem that automobiles have wrought over the year on their city’s streets and the cost in terms of lives lost by innocent pedestrians and cyclists. Putting names, faces and human tragedy to what otherwise takes the form of dry numbers, faceless hence quickly forgettable statistics is an important task. We can only encourage responsible citizens … Read More