|2016 draft Oregon Transportation Safety Action Plan|
It's hard to get excited about it.
It's really autoist.
While it is garlanded with some of the rhetoric of vision zero, it's not very deeply thought through or enacted.
For example, it proposes we "identify unsafe walking, biking, or driving behaviors which could be addressed through legislation."
That sounds like a page out of the same playbook that criminalized jaywalking and wants to carve out plenty of room in the frame to blame the victim when a person on foot is killed.
Later, in a section on "Healthy, livable communities," it's mostly about "law enforcement" rather than about "planned land uses" or about health and livability.
But instead the recommendation is "Identify risk factors for older drivers and implement treatments, within current law."
Over at Treehugger there was a piece about bike helmets, and in it was a discussion of occupational safety. If that citation accurately reflects our national approach and its standards, it formalizes what has seemed intuitive here: The best way to make driving safer is to make it easy for people not to drive. Humans aren't wired to avoid stumbling over seams in the sidewalk, so what makes us think we can safely drive sheetmetal that weighs a thousand pounds and whose power is measured in hundreds of horses?
|via Treehugger and NIOSH|
ODOT's Safety Plan is instead structured around the idea that the primary task is to make the same amount of driving safer.
But the hierarchy from the occupational safety approach suggests ODOT's own approach here is inferior and unlikely to attain the vision:
Oregon envisions no deaths or life-changing injuries on Oregon’s transportation system by 2035It looks like it's being set up for failure.
A more serious approach to safety would more actively work to shift driving trips to non-driving trips. It would more deeply work for transforming mobility. It would also work generally to reduce speeds - not just to improve compliance on posted speeds, but to reduce posted and design speeds themselves. Nowhere is there a hint of "twenty is plenty."
Absent these commitments, the Safety Plan is half-baked and too timid.
Through August 1. Comments can be emailed to email@example.com or mailed to ODOT Planning, Attn: TSAP, 555 13th St. NE, Salem OR 97301.
See notes from January on an earlier draft, here and here. The criticism then seems still to hold today.