Paris, 15 Feb. 2018.
This draft posting is intended for informal peer review and private commentary in the context of a new international collaborative program of New Mobility Master Classes being planned for 2018-2020. The core text you find here is taken verbatim from Chapter 3 of John Whitelegg’s well-received 2015 book Mobility A New Urban Design and Transport Planning Philosophy for a Sustainable Future. The remainder of the text for this session is still in process and presented for now as a draft intended for review, comment and suggestions. It will shortly be completed with an introduction to the 2018 Master Class program by the editor who is serving as course leader, along with a short list of recommended reading (3-5 online references) and a closing discussion and commentary by participants and visiting colleagues)
- General introduction (2 parts)
- Mobility: Chapter 3. Death and Injury
- Conclusions and last words
- Selected references
- About the authors
- How to obtain
- Facebook page
- Reader comments
1. General Introduction
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2. Mobility Chapter 3. Death and Injury
One of the most obvious, pervasive and unacceptable consequences of motorised mobility is death and injury in the road traffic environment. It is over 60 years since John Dean addressed the problem in his book “Murder most foul” (Dean, 1947):
“It is common ground that the motor slaughter ought to be stopped; it is also common ground that it can be stopped, or at least greatly reduced.. it is realised that the killing or maiming every year of about a quarter of a million persons ..are not items that any country can afford to ignore .. i t is also realised, if less clearly, that the motor slaughter leaves behind it an ever widening trail of private misery-bereavement, poverty resulting from the death of the breadwinner, crippledom and the rest and that this, too, ought to be stopped.
Finally, it is realised, if again it is less clearly, that the motor slaughter is bad in itself: that it is bad that human beings should kill and maim other human beings.in this cold blooded way: worst of all that as happens in a very large proportion of the cases, vigorous adults should kill or maim children and elderly and infirm persons and then criminally and meanly put the blame on their victims: that in short, it is not only the lives and well-being of about a quarter of a million persons and the material loss every year that are at stake, but to a high degree, the standards of decency and the moral health of the nation.
That old transport paradigm, the one we are still living with today, is far too narrow in terms of the range and quality of people targeted and services offered, and in the process fails to serve what is — in fact — the transpiration majority.
Photo: Massimo Pinca/AP
Pope Francis’s just-promulgated encyclical “Laudato Si’: On Care for our Common Home”, is without a doubt the most important single document to be published, initiative to be taken, since the phrase sustainable development was invented three long and patently unsuccessful decades ago. This extraordinary document aims to inform and to rally the forces of responsible behavior and responsible governance to the cause and the plight of our planet and to the role of active democracy. Beautifully written (the English language version at least), clearly presented and cogently argued in clear day to day language. It is an excellent and inspiring read. However it is not a recipe, it is a challenge.
World Streets will be giving the encyclical and its copious fallout close attention in the months between now and the forthcoming Paris Climate conference in December, and intends to offer space to guest contributions, essays and commentaries looking at the various issues from a number of different critical perspectives. Including the stronger views against all or some parts of the encyclical
If I live outside of a city — say, in a spread-suburb, rural area, commuter town or other hard to serve low density area — and if I happen not own a car, or on days when my car is not available, I am going to have a hard time getting to work or wherever it is I need to go this morning.
In principle I have a few choices, for example: (a) Get down on my knees and beg for a ride from family or neighbors. (b) Try to find (and get to) a bus or local pubic transport (good luck!). (c) Search out a taxi, call, wait for it eventually to show up and then pay a hefty amount. (d) For work trips, and if I am lucky, there may be a ride-sharing scheme. Or, for many less comfortable but still possible, (e) the hitchhiking option. (f) Do like an increasing number of my fellow commuters and buy a motorcycle. And perhaps most likely of all (g) be obliged to reschedule or forget the trip. But at the end of the day, and all things considered, I am forced to conclude that the reality of life in suburbia and rural areas today is: no car = no mobility. Harsh!
But stuff changes.We are entering a new and very different age of technology, communications and mobility, as American write Josh Stephens reminds us in the following article.
This illustration shows how it should be: Disabled kids in developing countries should be able to get to school using a variety of accessible transport in order to learn alongside other kids. We hope you will help us as we work with others to turn this vision into a reality.