Why is building safe infrastructure so hard?

Do you ever wake up in the middle of the night, convinced that your idea is so important that you just HAVE to write it down RIGHT NOW before you forget?

Why don’t we have community hearings when they want to add a shoulder to a road? Or add guardrail or rumble strips? When they want to add a median? When planners and engineers want to incorporate safety features to protect people driving we rarely hear about it.

Why then, when they try to add infrastructure to protect people riding bikes or walking do we need to hold multiple community stakeholder meetings over the course of several months or even years to get this done?

Why, when we try to build infrastructure to protect the lives of our most vulnerable users, to ensure their safe and constitutionally protected passage on our streets, must we first appease the community and get “buy-in”? Why can’t we do this?

The answer is value. We don’t value the lives of those who don’t travel exclusively by car. They aren’t important. They’re just “recreating” and they need to grow up and buy cars like real adults.

I’m tired of being told that my safety and constitutional rights aren’t as important as people who drive. We deserve the infrastructure; community buy-in be damned. If safety was truly paramount – as the saying goes: if we could save even one life – we would build the infrastructure that is proven to increase safety.

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