Today’s Headlines

  • Holiday Carnage: 30 Killed on CA Highways…Over Holiday Weekend (LA Now)
  • One Ped. Killed at Rail Crossing in Glendale Creates Calls for Closure (Glendale News Press)
  • Lightning Strikes Twice, Times Writes on CicLAvia, Again (Times)
  • LADOT: 6,499 Miles of Roads in L.A. Bike Plam: 28 Miles of New Bike Lanes (CICLE)
  • Better Signage Could Also Make City Safer for Cyclists (GOOD)
  • Comment Period for City’s Official Bike Plan Officially Moved to January (Westside BikeSIDE)
  • Glendale Using Metro Funds for Bike Lanes (Glendale News Press)
  • Where Are the Landmark Infrastructure Projects? (NYT)
  • Human Transit Holds Fascinating Debate on Usefulness of BRT, a BRT Planning F.A.Q., and Notes from a BRT Planner.
  • This Will Be the Most Intensely Reported Incident of Careless Driving in a Long Time (CNN)

More headlines at Streetsblog Capitol Hill

  • 1 person killed by train = shut it down! It’s unsafe! There’s no fix!
    20 people killed by cars = shrug.

  • Spokker

    30 people killed by cars.

    I was reading an article written by a psychologist the other day, and he was asking, “Do we fear the right things?”

    We go ape over terrorists to the point where we are detaining photographers in the subway, but we have no fear when it comes to going 90 MPH on the freeway. Over in Palo Alto residents are so concerned that terrorists will plant a bomb on the California high speed rail tracks that they want it put underground or not built at all. One person said, “Families won’t take a train, they’ll use cars or planes instead.” Since 1980 over 380,000 people have been killed in automobile accidents, both inside and outside the vehicle.

    Do we fear the right things?

  • David Galvan

    @Spokker: Very apt point. I’ve seen several articles over the past few years pointing out similar misdirections of concern. I volunteer at an aquarium, and the example I am used to pointing out to visitors is sharks. On average, there are about 5 people killed by sharks every year. 5. On the entire planet. That’s less than the # of people killed by having vending machines fall on top of them. (Seriously.) And yet, something about the idea of being hunted or attacked by a predatory animal strikes more fear into people’s minds than many other more likely dangers.

    Similarly, I think the idea of being hit by a train, or being killed in a train collision or plane crash is more terrifying for most people because their perspective is one of helplessness. It is far more likely to die while driving in your car, but I suspect less people are as worried about that because they are (over-) confident about their own ability to avoid or mitigate the situation.

    If we went by actual threat, we should be most afraid of not eating right and not getting enough exercise, since heart disease kills the most people in the U.S.. But again, we have confidence in our own decisions, and are biased towards irrationally fearing the much less likely things that we can’t control.