Also: It’s snow vs. parking in Minneapolis, and how Marvel packs a universe into NYC.
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What We’re Following
Crossroads: The United States is on track to report its highest number of pedestrian fatalities since 1990, with an estimated 6,227 deaths in the preliminary 2018 data. Researchers say the surge in deaths shows that something has gone terribly wrong in the last 10 years.
There are many clues as to why. Americans are spending more time driving, smartphones have introduced new distractions, and more lethal heavy-duty SUVs have proliferated. And old dangers that inhibit drivers—like darkness and alcohol—have remained stubbornly pervasive.
U.S. Pedestrian Fatalities 1990-2018
On the other side of the windshield, people inside America’s cars and trucks have never been better protected. As pedestrian deaths increased by 35 percent from 2008 to 2017, the number of all other traffic deaths dropped by 6 percent. The pedestrian picture isn’t entirely bleak: Local Vision Zero plans that are specifically geared at improving pedestrian safety appear to have been effective, as the 10 largest cities reported a 15 percent decline in pedestrian fatalities in 2017. But those efforts have concentrated on city downtowns, while a growing number of fatal crashes are happening in the suburbs and exurbs. CityLab’s Sarah Holder has the story: The Stark Traffic Safety Divide
More on CityLab
What We’re Reading
The Midwest will likely raise gas taxes—and widen highways (Streetsblog)
Airbnb is buying into the hotel industry (Quartz)
Is Chicago done with “tribal” voting? (Chicago magazine)
Dollar Tree was once considered “Amazon-proof.” Now it’s closing hundreds of stores. (Vox)
People bought the “panhandle murder” story because they think the worst of Baltimore (Washington Post)