It Doesn’t Have To Be This Way

Yesterday, a person on bicycle was killed in Redding.

At Shasta Living Streets, we believe that most collisions are preventable by reducing dangerous behaviors and building streets that work for everyone.

In America, over 30,000 people die every year on our streets and highways; somehow, we have become inured to these daily tragedies and accept them as inevitable. Programs like Vision Zero say, “Wait a minute, these deaths are preventable. We don’t have to accept this—better infrastructure and better policies can stop the slaughter.” What’s more, Vision Zero programs have been shown to work.

Better infrastructure like protected bike lanes are the cornerstone of any Vision Zero program. Make no mistake, protected bike lanes work:

And better infrastructure doesn’t benefit just people on bikes:

  • When protected bike lanes are installed in New York City, injury crashes for all road users (drivers, pedestrians, and cyclists) typically drop by 40 percent and by more than 50 percent in some locations. [source: Memorandum on Bike Lanes, City of New York, Office of the Mayor, 21 March 2011]

Better bicycle infrastructure also has many proven economic benefits, but we will discuss that another time. The fact is that we can do better. We should do better.

Let’s not shy away from excellence. Let’s not turn our back on the deaths. Let’s work together to built streets that work better for people who walk, bike, and drive.

4 thoughts on “It Doesn’t Have To Be This Way”

  1. But the guy was not wearing a helmet most likely was not wearing bright clothes. The news said the car and bicyclists both had a green light. So A protected bike lane would not have saved him. It would seem the bicyclists had the right away though.

  2. Thank you for your thoughts. Protected bike lanes are just a piece of the infrastructure puzzle, there are also things like protected bicycle intersections. As I mentioned, behaviors such as distracted driving and speeding can also be addressed. To my recollection, Shasta Living Streets has not come out with a formal position on helmets or bright clothing, but my *personal* opinion is that they should not be considered a mitigating factor in a collision or injury. It should be noted the Dutch overwelmingly ride bicycles in their normal street clothes without helmets and they have the lowest bicycle death rates in the world.

  3. I personally think we should wear helmets this guy would probably be alive today if he did. Motor cycle have to wear them and we are now have the same rights as motor vehicles. We use turning lanes we must follow all the laws that Motor cycles and vehicles have to follow. So we should have to wear helmets. But I don’t know the statics of how many lives were saved by helmets either.

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