|Car advertising and our autoism hinder analysis|
This is the coarse explanatory framework in which the other fine details should be fitted. But because we have such a stake in mystifying our autoism, we hide this.
There's no simple explanation for the increase. State transportation officials and safety advocates say a variety of factors are at play: Oregon's growing population; people's unfamiliarity with their new surroundings; and the popularity of pedestrian and bicycle travel.Sure there are many other factors, but the biggest one is that we are driving and traveling more.
|A primary reason deaths are rising is because we are driving more|
via FWHA twitter
Trains are difficult. If it is theoretically reasonable to insist on a "twenty is plenty" policy for urban auto travel, and if it is actually possible for most crashes at 20mph to be non-fatal, even at 5mph a train cannot stop reasonably. They have so much more mass and inertia, orders of magnitude more than cars. It is unjust for car drivers to say "might makes right," but it seems impossible to get around the fact that for trains, this is unalterably true. Trains require a different set of policies and safety counter-measures.
But above all, it's our autoism and increasing driving that causes the increase in crashes involving trains.
Out of the 154 crashes over the past 10 years, 33 involved pedestrians and nine involved someone hit on a bicycle. Of those, six pedestrians and one bicyclist were in Marion County.The piece drills into the death of Jack Rice on State and Commercial, but this may not be representative. There are many ambiguities and uncertainties about his death. Some of the other people on foot who died were also suicides, and "rail safety" by itself is not be an adequate lens for thinking about these deaths. Finally, we should remember for context that cars kill many more than trains, still.
|Front pager on traffic violence in 2017|