An article in The Atlantic this month lamented the lax enforcement of traffic laws in New York City, even in cases in which a pedestrian or cyclist is killed. The author calls for a crackdown on traffic violations large and small, emulating the “broken windows” approach to suppressing crime in the 1990s.
Would this be effective? Are there other ways to make cities safer for pedestrians and cyclists?
Taking Traffic Violations Seriously
TRACEY L. MEARES, YALE LAW SCHOOL
In Miami, vehicular homicides outnumbered ‘regular’ homicides. The police chief found that unacceptable.
The Power of Being Pulled Over
TOM VANDERBILT, AUTHOR, “TRAFFIC: WHY WE DRIVE THE WAY WE DO”
What often matters in reducing traffic violations is not punitive action per se, but simply the process of receiving a warning.
The Onus on Cyclists and Drivers
DAVID V. HERLIHY, AUTHOR, “BICYCLE: THE HISTORY”
In the 1890s, we had a preview of the risks of urban cycling. Now we have all that era’s problems and more.
It Starts With Better Design
PETER CALTHORPE, ARCHITECT AND AUTHOR
The answers are simple: create safe bike lanes, generous pedestrian spaces, protected crossings and narrow car lanes.