Three Reasons Our Streets Are Killing Us

June 11, 2021
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Do you think that the rise in auto accident fatalities was by design or was simply coincidence?  One reporter is making the case that fatalities are on the rise in Connecticut due to the way roads are designed.  To be clear, this is not a Connecticut only issue and it is certainly not one that is causing only New Haven auto accidents to be on the rise.  This is a 50 state problem and must be solved with a 50 state solution.

A decades old guide book, known as “The Green Book” was written by the American Association of State Highway And Transportation Officials (AASHTO) to dictate some common rules for road design.  This book is used by states and the federal government as a guide when building roads across the country.  The book was written without any public input by a group of traffic engineers.

There are three reasons that the rules inside this book  and other governing documents are harming our traffic patterns and leading to the streets we drive on being more dangerous then ever before;

  1. The Green Book requires lanes to be too wide allowing for drivers to be more casual in the way they approach their driving.
  2. It ignores pedestrians and bikers, key constituents that are using our roads.
  3. Another governing document commonly used to dictate the rules around traffic flow is the Manual of Uniform Traffic Control Devices.  This guide discusses traffic signals, but also speed limits.  The guide relies on data to help set speed limits which is problematic because as drivers speed their data is used in the creation of future speed limits, therefore people who are breaking the law are dictating the law.

There are many rules around road development and traffic patterns.  It is important that these guiding documents are available and are uniform, but it is also important to consistently be reviewing these documents to ensure that they are still working for all who utilize our roads.  Now, after a year that saw traffic fatalities from New Haven auto accidents dramatically increase, would be a good time to review these documents and make new recommendations to help keep all of us safe while using the roads.

If you or a loved one were injured in an accident and need an experienced attorney to review your case, contact our office and one of our attorneys will speak with you.