CNU 20 Set to Tackle the Issue of Pedestrian and Urban Traffic Safety

It’s no secret that New Urbanists like walkable streets. Yet one of the major challenges to the creation of walkable streets has been engineering concerns about traffic safety. Features such as narrow travel lanes, street trees, and other pedestrian amenities are often regarded by traffic engineers as being a safety hazard. New Urbanists have generally dealt with this problem by treating it as part of the ongoing battle of “motorists vs. pedestrians.”

But what if we could demonstrate that the New Urbanism can save the lives of pedestrians, cyclists, and motorists alike?

Recent research by Professor Eric Dumbaugh has shown that on the issue of traffic safety, New Urbanists can claim the high ground. The community design features encouraged by New Urbanists report substantially fewer traffic-related crashes, injuries, and deaths than do the “passive safety” solutions favored by traffic engineers. The reason, as discussed in Dr. Dumbaugh’s article “Designing for the Safety of Pedestrians, Cyclists, and Motorists in Urban Environments,” is that walkable urbanism provides urban road users with the information needed to adopt safe operating behavior, leading to a significant reduction in crash incidence (This article is available for FREE download here).

With Florida being the home of the four most dangerous metropolitan areas for pedestrians and cyclists, CNU 20 is going to tackle the issue of urban traffic safety head on in a series of three related sessions.

The first is a 202 session entitled "Traffic Safety and Urban Design," where Jim Charlier, Norman Garrick, and Eric Dumbaugh will detail how the design and configuration of the built environment influences traffic-related deaths and injuries, and will present best practices for not only increasing walkability, but for saving lives.

In "Why Did We Stop Walking & How do We Start Again? The Dawn of the Motor Age in the American City," we will have a conversation with historian Peter Norton, who’s groundbreaking book Fighting Traffic details how automobile advocates used the issue of traffic safety to change cultural expectations about the use of the street, taking it away from pedestrians and handing it over to the motorists that began flooding American cities in the early 20th century.

Finally, "Beyond Bike Lanes: Creating a Culture of Cycling Safety" will detail how bicycle advocates in the 21st century have begun to take back the street. In this session, Eric Dumbaugh, Bob Kamm, and Keri Caffrey will discuss how the strategic coordination of infrastructure, advocacy, policy, and programming can be applied to not only reduce cyclist crashes, but to create a broader culture that values and respects walking and cycling.

Come learn the principles behind the creation of safe streets. Only at CNU 20. Register now.