Maybe What We Need Is Ghost Cars

Ghost bikes — white-painted, road-side memorials to cyclists who died in traffic — not only honor those who have lost their lives on the roads, but also remind drivers of their responsibilities toward more vulnerable people on the street.

Would roadside memorials for fallen drivers -- ghost cars -- help keep motorists vigilant? Photo: Baltimore Spokes

But imagine if we applied the same concept to cars, says Network blog Baltimore Spokes:

Does anyone really think texting will be a problem after passing this alongside the roadway?

Maryland has 97,023 auto crashes a year (5 year average); that works out to be about three auto crashes per mile of roadway each year! Can you imagine what our roads would look like if these crashes stuck around for at least a year?

I think it would be a good educational tool to move a wrecked automobile to an entrance ramp (or other visible but out of the way public place) and let it sit there a while with a sign saying something like, “Pay attention and drive safe. Don’t let this happen to you.” But instead we sterilize the roadway, making it seem like nothing ever bad happens there. Denying a problem is the first step in making it worse.

Elsewhere on the Network today: The Get Around Blog offers a critique of NPR’s “War on Cars” story. American Dirt says big box-style convention centers rob visitors of opportunities to experience downtown. And Streets.mn remembers the collapse of the I-35W Mississippi River Bridge.