Sunday, May 3, 2009

On Speed

Author Jeff Mapes writes:

Ah, speed. Like in the U. S., "speed kills" is a hoary slogan in the Netherlands. But they really seem to mean it...In urban areas, 30-Kilometer-per-hour zones--about 19MPH--have become commonplace as a part of the government's "sustainable safety program." I've seen people drive in parking lots faster than that in the states. I've probably done it myself. Fred Wegman, who directs Holland's Institute for Road Safety Research, said that Dutch authorities have strong public support for decreasing speeds. "There's a strong political and social interest to save vulnerable road users, to protect road users, to protect children, to protect elderly people" who are bicycle and walking, he said.
I think slowing down is a big piece of the solution. By solution I mean the ways in which we encourage more people to get on a bike or get out and walk. Not only does speed kill, perhaps most importantly speed scares cyclists and walkers.

By the way, Mapes' book "Pedaling Revolution" is the equivalent of "Fast Food Nation" for cycling. It is fantastic.

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