Archive for the ‘automotive’ Category
Transportation planning is heavily biased in favor of cars, at the expense of other road users. That is the not-very-shocking conclusion of a new UC Denver study:
America’s streets are designed and evaluated with a an inherent bias toward the needs of motor vehicles, ignoring those of bicyclists, pedestrians, and public transit users, according to a new study co-authored by Wesley Marshall of the University of Colorado Denver.
“The most common way to measure transportation performance is with the level-of-service standard,” said Marshall, PhD, PE, assistant professor of civil engineering at the CU Denver College of Engineering and Applied Science, the premier public research university in Denver. “But that measure only tells us about the convenience of driving a car.”
Marshall co-wrote the study with Eric Dumbaugh, PhD, associate professor at Florida Atlantic University and director of Transportation and Livability for the Center for Urban and Environmental Solutions and Jeffrey Tumlin, owner and director of strategy at Nelson\Nygaard Consulting Associates in San Francisco.
According to Dumbaugh, many people assume roads are designed with all users in mind when in fact they are dedicated almost entirely to the needs of motor vehicles.
“Transit, bikes, and pedestrians are seen as worthwhile only by how much they reduce delays or increase speeds for motor vehicles,” he said. “Regardless of how efficient they may be in moving people.”
Planners try to eliminate automobile congestion to increase economic competitiveness. But as Dumbaugh points out, that may be counter-productive:
In fact, a previous study by Dumbaugh revealed that as per capita traffic delay went up, so did per capita Gross Domestic Product. Every 10 percent increase in traffic delay per person was associated with a 3.4 percent increase in per capita GDP. That’s because traffic congestion is usually a byproduct of a vibrant, economically productive city, the study said.
That legally blind driver who killed a pedestrian will now be facing felony charges. Previously, the DA was only going to charge him with a misdemeanor (which would result in little or no jail time). Concerns by the public for the DA to enforce the law seems to have worked:
[District Attorney] O’Malley says there are just too many aggravating factors for the charge to remain a misdemeanor. First and foremost, she says, he is legally blind. “There was also some half eaten food in the car.”
She added that our inquiry prompted her office to take a second look at the case. “When the press comes and speaks back to us, about what they’re seeing, that we listen very closely, because your eyes and ears are very keen, as I hope law enforcement and my office are.”
A driver with an expired license, who is legally blind, hits and kills a pedestrian in a crosswalk. And prosecutors only charged him with a misdemeanor:
An Oakland man who said he is legally blind has been arrested and charged with misdemeanor vehicular manslaughter in connection with a crash in Berkeley that killed a 98-year-old man, authorities said Thursday. Robert Jack Gilchrist, 56, was also charged by Alameda County prosecutors with driving without a valid license at the time of the April crash that killed Joseph Luft.
About 12:20 p.m. on April 4, Luft was on his daily walk and heading east in a crosswalk on Bancroft Way when he was hit by Gilchrist’s car as it traveled north on Sacramento Street, authorities said. The impact knocked Luft 40 feet, police said. Luft was conscious and able to speak with responding officers, but died at a hospital that evening.
If the DMV already determined he can’t safely drive, then the penalty needs to be a felony. This was no accident.
You would think by now he would have been fired, or at least had his city-owned vehicle taken away:
On April 30, 2004, Robert Rawls allegedly injured two Rutgers University employees who were crossing in a crosswalk at the intersection of George and Liberty Streets. One woman leaped out of the way and averted injury. Another had her pelvis broken in three places, while a third person sufferred full body contusions, according to a source.
That accident happened just over ten years before Rawls struck three children in a crosswalk located just twelve blocks away on Tuesday afternoon.
Over those ten years, Rawls was involved in another thirteen car accidents, not including the tragedy on Tuesday.
Now, Rawls finds himself and his driving record under increased scrutiny after two days of massive protests in response to the accident. NBC New York’s Brian Thompson reported earlier this evening that Rawls has been in nineteen accidents in 38 years of driving, according to the NJ Motor Vehicle Commission.
The news comes in the wake of the recent accident, where three children on their way home from school were struck by Rawls’ city-owned 2010 Chevrolet Tahoe. He was on-duty at the time. Just six weeks prior to the tragic accident that seriously injured two 14-year-old girls and a 6-year-old boy, Rawls was involved in another accident. Rawls was also behind the wheel during an accident in 2013, two accidents in 2012, and three each in 2008 and 2009.
The victims who were struck Tuesday were hospitalized with serious injuries, one that has some parallels with accounts of the April 2004 incident. But that accident occurred when Rawls was off-duty, said the source. He was promoted to the Fire Director position two years later.
Stop her before she kills again!
The elderly woman who killed three people when she accidentally backed into a crowd of people leaving a Manatee County church will not be allowed to drive for at least one year.
In court on Wednesday morning, Doreen Landstra, 79, pleaded no contest. She had her driver’s license suspended for a year and was fined $1,000 and paid $106 in court fees. If Landstra wants to renew her license in a year, she will have to go to driving school and meet other Department of Motor Vehicle requirements.
The crash happened Feb. 2 in the Sugar Creek Country Club 55-and-over mobile home community off Belinda Circle and Clubhouse Drive in East Bradenton. Witnesses said Landstra appeared to think she put her large Chevrolet sport utility vehicle in “drive,” but instead she shifted into reverse and backed through the clubhouse parking lot, hitting seven people.
Wasn’t the first time either:
In 2011, the Brandenton Herald reported that Landstra once drove an SUV into the lobby of a McDonald’s in Michigan after she hit the gas instead of the brake.
In that case, she was required to retake her driver’s exam.