In America, automobile supremacy means we walk less, but we die more. Evidently we want it that way.

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Having been to Europe numerous times, and at the risk of generalizing, the basic difference is that most European countries put the brake on automobile supremacy. Driving remains more of a privilege, less of a right, and while there surely are tracts of the continent where cars are necessary, subsidized public transit in urban areas lessens the need to drive.

It’s that simple — and my guess would be that in Europe, every now and again a driver actually is prosecuted for killing a non-driver. Recall that when Matt Brewer was killed, the driver who hit him was exonerated by police within minutes, and later the prosecutor yawningly followed suit.

June 19, 2019 photo.

And those Williams Plumbing sight line impediments are right back where they were, on the street, blocking fields of vision for all users even as ordinance enforcement personnel pluck the low-hanging fruit by ticketing street sweeping violations.

Why is the city obligated to provide commercial parking for four, five and maybe six vehicles?

Didn’t rogue elements in the Street Department only recently ask Williams not to continue parking these vehicles on Spring Street?

Did someone over-turn the surprising edict?

(When parked in a line on 9th Street, they also block handicap accessibility on the sidewalk, but first things first).

Why are drivers killing so many pedestrians?

Because, like Williams Plumbing’s fleet of vision blockers, drivers are coddled, everywhere and always. BOW should be embarrassed; unfortunately too few of the city’s Democratic “leaders” are capable of feeling shame.

Why Are U.S. Drivers Killing So Many Pedestrians? by Joe Cortright (Strong Towns)

If anything else—a disease, terrorists, gun-wielding crazies—killed as many Americans as cars do, we’d regard it as a national emergency. Especially if the death rate had grown by 50 percent in less than a decade. But as new data from the Governor’s Highway Safety Association (via Streetsblog) show, that’s exactly what’s happened with the pedestrian death toll in the U.S. In the nine years from 2009 to 2018, pedestrian deaths increased 51 percent from 4,109 to 6,227.

There are lots of reasons given for the increase: distracted driving due to smart phone use, a decline in gas prices that has prompted even more driving, poor road design, a culture that privileges car travel and denigrates walking, and the increasing prevalence of more lethal sport utility vehicles. Undoubtedly, all of these factors contribute.

While some may regard a pedestrian death toll as somehow unavoidable, the recent experience of European countries as a group suggests that there’s nothing about modern life (Europeans have high rates of car ownership and as many smart phones as Americans) that means the pedestrian death toll must be high and rising. In fact, at the same time pedestrian deaths have been soaring in the U.S., they’ve been dropping steadily in Europe. In the latest nine year period for which European data are available, pedestrian deaths decreased from 8,342 to 5,320, a decline of 36 percent …

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