Along for the Ride #153
See you in NYC?
Heya friends, happy Friday.
Yet another weird week on this lil orb we call home. I personally spent most of the week partially glued to my phone trying to grasp the sheer mayhem that is UK politics. If you’re over yonder know I am sending out big prayers they don’t replace Boris with somebody even worse, although I’m not sure that’s likely. For now, please enjoy the Larry the Cat twitter account for some temporary reprieve.
P.S. I’ll be in NYC from July 10-22nd and bopping around town via Citi Bike. Let me know if you’ll be around and we can perspire in the sun together. To be determined if there will be a newsletter next week… if not just know I’m having the best time exploring New York City’s newly fortified bike lanes.
Ok onto the (short n sweet) news..!
Government and Policy
David Zipper depicts how Canada is decreasing traffic fatalities despite having a similar addiction to car culture as the US. His impressions: smaller cars, higher gas taxes, greater transit usage, automated traffic enforcement, harsher drunk driving penalties, and actually being nicer (more patient, empathetic) drivers is saving lives.
“Despite the two nations’ superficial resemblance, Canada’s success with traffic safety stands in sharp contrast to the US’s ongoing struggles. Around 118 of every million Americans died in crashes in 2020, two and a half times the Canadian rate of 46. And the gap between the two is widening; US road deaths per capita rose 19% from 2010 to 2020, while Canada’s rate fell at almost the same pace.”
The EU is developing technical rules that would allow 1,500 “fully” autonomous vehicles per car model to be registered and sold in a member state each year. Some simple calculations of 27 member states within the EU multiplied by an infinite number of car models and we end at … an infinite number of cars. Welp.
CityLab has an interesting review of where in the US car payments outpace rental payments—and the data looks like you’d expect, although some of the metrics are still shocking even to me.
“A record share of new car shoppers are being saddled with monthly payments topping $1,000, according to June data from Edmunds. That’s higher than the average cost of rent in 24 US metro areas on the Zumper National Rent Report. Meanwhile, the average monthly car payment reached $712 in May, according to Cox Automotive.”
Me to me: did you expect anything else?
Granted this article is equal parts hilarious (to me) and fascinating. It discusses how cities in China are banning Tesla’s from specific regions in advance of meetings with senior government officials taking place. Why you ask? Concerns that the vehicle’s array of sensors and cameras could offer insight into said meetings, releasing top secret information.
NHTSA is investigating a collision between a Cruise AV and a human-operated Prius that took place in early June in San Francisco.
“A little more than a month ago, GM’s Cruise received a permit to start charging passengers for rides in its autonomous, driverless robotaxis [sic]. It was a major milestone for the service. A day later, on June 3, one of those robotaxis was involved in a crash in San Francisco, where occupants in both vehicles suffered minor injuries, per a California DMV report.”
Research and Academia
This one feels very close to home with San Francisco choosing to essentially revert my Covid-19 happy place (aka daily sanity check) Lake Street to car traffic. A big ol’ welp.
“We used data collected via an online Qualtrics panel of New Jersey residents (n = 1,419) to evaluate how these street closures were viewed. Did people take advantage of the opportunity to dine outside? Was walking more attractive with more space? How did respondents feel about changes in traffic patterns due to the closures? Did people walk more frequently? Results suggested that there was substantial public support for these types of interventions that allowed for more walking and more lively town centers (about 40%–45% of respondents expressed support, and only 35% had negative views; a large share was neutral). Those with negative views believed that street closures increased congestion and that outdoor dining made it more difficult to walk.”
I am fascinated that people who oppose Open Streets do so over concern of increased congestion, when they have been proven to achieve the opposite time and time again. All the more reason to find ways to communicate these outcomes beyond the Echo Chamber of our networks. Do the world a favour and teach a car driver about induced demand today!
Extra Bits + Bobs
Come hang out with me! The San Francisco Bicycle Coalition is hosting their annual Golden Wheel Awards on July 28th. The event is a fundraiser for the organization as well, and if you’re interested in donating or sponsoring the event I know the org would appreciate every extra dollar.
That’s all from me. Have a beautiful weekend friends.
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