Strong Towns Podcast
Episode 199

Just Another Pedestrian Killed

Charles Marohn published on

Chuck Marohn and Andrew Burleson sit down to discuss a tragedy in Springfield, Mass, where a mom and two girls were hit by a drunk driver on an urban stroad. The seven-year-old girl was killed and the other seriously injured. Marohn and Burleson discuss the engineering profession's approach to safety, the implications for those outside of an automobile and how our approach needs reform if we are truly build safe, productive places.

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  • Michael Gibbons

    So, I'm diggin your podcast right now, especially at having an almost-fight on my facebook feed after posting the original article.

    You are talking about language and culture here, which are some of my favorite things to think about. One of the things about this is that it doesn't matter how right you are - if the public conversation doesn't change. This is why in marketing, you don't talk about prices or details, you talk about emotion. In a Sociology perspective, you're talking about "Social Creation of Reality." In politics, it's plain old propoganda - it's why pro gun people are not pro pot people.

    So, the takeaway here is that if we're (you're) to be successful, we need to not only make rational arguments which are correct - those won't work on their own. We need also (maybe even mostly) to make persuasive emotional arguments that are backed up by facts.

    Sorry to ramble, but I was so excited listening to your podcast. How do we shame poor drivers as if they were jaywalkers? How do we SHOW beautiful lively towns? People work by feel and that's where we need to hit them.

  • Seth Zeren

    Boston would have as much of a grid... if we got rid of all or most of our one way streets. But if you're a local, there are lots of ways to get things done. What's really striking is that there are some areas that have a suburban style network... and they have really intense congestion problems, because you just can't cram that many cars on one road...

  • Will O'Meara

    Jean Bonne-Anne DIED in brooklyn: check out the articles

  • Ryan Lakes

    the USA being somewhat uniquely a melting pot of ethnicities may have had individuals' desires for segregation as a driving force of suburban expansion well as cold wartime fears that city centers would be the targets of nuclear attacks

  • Danny Rebelo

    I live in Springfield, Mass, and I know exactly where the incident took place. It is a horrible setup and I agree that the push for automobiles to win over other forms of transportation has corrupted our urban landscape and made it dangerous.

    During the podcast, I was hoping to hear about any possible connections with the auto industry pushing for regulations and design standards that would help with the sales of their merchandise? Does anyone else feel that there might be a connection there? They clearly had a lot to benefit from by influencing decision makers.