Understanding Walking and Cycling

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Jonathan Kay
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Thanks. There'd been a previous reference to an increase but I hadn't seen those data before.

Jonathan

Tony Whitley
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It makes me wonder what caused the drop from 1990 on.  Just better road design?  Better education of pedestrians perhaps, but that seems unlikely to have such a great effect.

If the increase is partly due to pedestrians distracted by phones then it's ironic that phones could be used to help protect pedestrians if signals from phones were used to alert cars and drivers to pedestrians in the road.

Jonathan Kay
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The original report: "Pedestrian Traffic Fatalities by State: 2018 Preliminary Data".

And one immediate oddity for anyone interested in cause:

States reported a range of changes in the number of pedestrian fatalities in the first half of 2018 compared with the same period in 2017:

  • 25 states (and DC) had increases in pedestrian fatalities;
  • 23 states had decreases; and
  • Two states remained the same.

Possible causes for the change that are mentioned in their summary:

  • Shift to SUVs
  • Nighttime
  • Population growth
  • Smartphones.

Jonathan

Jonathan Kay
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jradley
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"phones could be used to help protect pedestrians if signals from phones were used to alert cars and drivers to pedestrians in the road"

The concept is of course far from new... TCAS has been used in commercial aviation for collision avoidance since around the late 80's and more recently FLARM (a GPS & transponder based system) similarly so for general aviation. The difference however is that aircraft tend to move in a relatively predictable manner, whereas pedestrians (and dare I say cyclists) don't. This of course makes timely alerts without false alarms far more difficult to process.

John

Tony Whitley
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Still easier than trying to recognise a pedestrian/cyclist using computer vision and then trying to work out their unpredictable movement!  We're all walking around with a GPS receiver that can also transmit our position, use it.  It also has access to Google maps so it knows when we're near a road, add (smart, not necessarily autonomous) cars transmitting their paths and it can warn you that you're about to walk into the road and get mown down.

Jonathan Kay
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University response to Connecting Oxford:

  1. General support.
  2. Want something more radical.
  3. Extended area for the workplace parking levy.
  4. Fewer restrictions on their travel: "Not all goods and services can be delivered by cargo bike or out of working hours.".
  5. "... we do not support any exemptions for private electric vehicles from the bus gates, as experience in Norway of their use in bus lanes demonstrates the difficult behavioural economics of removing temporary privileges. Whilst electric vehicles may be cleaner than diesels, they still generate non-exhaust particulate emissions, clog up the highway network and pose a danger to vulnerable road users".

Jonathan

Jonathan Kay
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PhD opportunity:

Project Highlights: 

  • Using the Internet of Things to monitor road surface temperatures from a bike
  • Development of a system to warn cyclists of ice risk across cycle routes
  • Potentially impactful outcomes

Jonathan

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rgrigsby
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That is an impressive achievement, just reading the article and it says 110 deaths across the country as a whole. Again an amazingly low number. We seem to be stuck at around 1800 a year since 2011 which is quite disappointing.

It's probably a controversial view but I'm not convinced that some of the modern road design with deliberately obscured entries to junctions and roundabouts is helping.

Volvo's "Vision 2020" goal of aiming for zero deaths or serious injuries in their cars is interesting and worth reading about.