In reading two different articles about transportation tonight I found a connection, which may seem unconnected at first, but are actually are very closely related.
The First Article
The latest Planning Magazine (May/June2012) shows the page above about pedestrian deaths, which caught my attention. As I was looking over the well-presented statistics, I began to think of my friend from elementary school, Casey, who died at the age of 10 one week after moving to the suburbs. He chased a ball into the street and had his head ran over by a car. The arrow points to the year it happened. There's a slight bump that year. A bar graph in the bottom-right corner shows "motorists" as the top reason people feel threatened with the highest percentage in the rural.
The Second Article
Public vs. Private Concern
The first article highlights an example of a public problem. This occurs in the public realm and is something that decision-makers should care about. The second article is not. It is a private issue. It should only be a private concern. If people want to live in low densities far from everything they need, fine. That is their choice. We should not be concerned about whether they need to leave five minutes earlier to arrive at work in private vehicles. We we should concern ourselves with trying to make changes to the streets to marginally reduce their travel time. Instead we should lower speed limits and focus on pedestrian safety. That is the public concern. People can move. If their commute is too long, move.