Walking and bikes are transportation, too
Ensuring non-motorized travelers have safe space in the street
Last year was the deadliest year since 1989 for pedestrians and bicyclists on New Jersey’s roads. According to New Jersey State Police crash data, the statewide road fatality tally included 220 pedestrians and 23 cyclists, along with 373 vehicle drivers and 84 passengers. More than onethird of the deaths (243 out of 700, or 34.7%) were thus among people who were walking, bicycling, or rolling–our most vulnerable road users.
The last two years have been something of an anomaly, with a global pandemic drastically altering people’s travel behaviors and affecting their mental health. During the first months of the pandemic, a dramatic drop in car travel rather unexpectedly did not lead to a corresponding drop in traffic deaths, as the sudden abundance of wide-open roads seems to have induced drivers to behave more recklessly. And death rates have persisted as traffic has returned, raising questions about the potential staying power of bad habits acquired during the pandemic era.
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