Central city car-free workers

And here is the last of the three census-related maps, before I move on to other topics. This one shows the percentage of workers who are car-free (zero motor vehicles owned). Again, the 95814 zip code nails it, at 18.4%, and 95811 is close behind at 14.5%. Yes, I’m one of them.

The near suburbs also show moderate car-free percentages, probably in this case due to low income as much as choice. College (Los Rios and Sac State) students, if they are working, probably also contribute in the near suburbs. Not surprisingly, the distant suburbs have almost no one car-free. Those people are locked into the driving life by the place they have chosen to live.

It is important to remember these percentages are of workers, people who are working somewhere. They do not include people too young to work, people who have retired, or just people not working. If those people are included, the car-free rates would be much, much higher. These people are just as entitled to transportation expenditures as car drivers, but our transportation systems is set up to give them crumbs rather than a fair share.

On the other hand, there large numbers of people in the distant suburbs who have three or more cars per worker. Not per family, but per worker. The 95615 zip code (Courtland) tops the list with 54% having three or more cars, but other zip codes are close behind. Yow!

Again, the Sacramento County map (car-free) is available.

Sacramento-central-car-free

 

Pedestrian and Bicyclist Fatalities Up? More data flaws!

California Walks tweeted an LA Times articles entitled Highway deaths at lowest level since 1949; bike, truck fatalities rise. The misinformation and misunderstanding in the article includes:

The article misses that the Traffic Safety Fact: 2011 Motor Vehicle Crashes: Overview (TSF), linked from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) press release, also shows that the injury rate per vehicle mile traveled (VMT) has been flat for three years. What does this mean? It probably means that the number of crashes has not declined, just the likelihood of fatality in a crash. The rate per VMT is the only useful measure of traffic safety. Fatality counts and injury counts are a mis-measure because they are affected by the rate of driving and a number of other factors, rather than the safety of driving.

The TSF provides counts of pedestrian fatalities, up 3%, and bicyclists (the NHTSA uses the obscure term pedalcyclists), up 8.7%. To go with the counting game, this is an increase of 130 dead pedestrians and 54 dead bicyclists in just one year. No statistics are presented on the fatality rate per bicycle mile traveled. Why? I believe that it is because NHTSA is too lazy or too disinterested to compile information on bicycle miles traveled. Though pedestrian miles traveled would be difficult to compile, at least a rate could be developed per pedestrian trip, which would be a more accurate measure of the rate of fatalities. Again, the NHTSA can’t be bothered. I am certainly not the first to point out that pedestrian and bicyclist fatality counts are a mis-measure of safety, yet the federal, state, and local governments continue to ignore the issue.

Continue reading “Pedestrian and Bicyclist Fatalities Up? More data flaws!”