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Webinar: Slow Roads Save Lives

When the League of American Bicyclists was founded in 1880, one of our biggest campaigns and achievements was the Good Roads Movement. In 1889, Colonel Albert Pope of the then League of American Wheelmen said, “I hope to live to see the time when all over our land, our cities, towns and villages shall be connected by as good roads as can be found.” 

But what are “good roads”? 

Neither by 1889 nor 2024 standards could what we have today in the United States be considered “good roads”.  Certainly not by the metric of safety: roads in the United States saw more than 42,000 deaths in 2021 – the most recent year with national data. People biking have seen a more than 50% increase in deaths since 2009 to 966 in 2021 – the highest number in 45 years.

Other countries have gotten closer to our vision of “good roads” by embracing a Safe System Approach and successfully reducing traffic deaths to levels two to six times lower than what we endure in the United States. Based on empirical evidence from those countries, we know the elements that make a road a “good road” that prioritizes the safety of people.

Ultimately, a “good road” is a slow road. A slow road is a safe road. And a safe road makes life better for everyone. 

So the League is launching a new campaign for better roads and better biking, the “Slow Roads Save Lives” campaign. 

“Slow Roads Saves Lives” calls on everyone – you, your neighbors, local leaders, traffic engineers – to embrace slowing down and saving lives. 

Why are slow roads good roads? How do we slow down our roads to save lives? And what can you do to join the campaign? 

Join the League on September 21, 2023 at 3 pm ET to as we launch the “Slow Roads Save Lives” campaign with two incredible advocates for safer streets:

  • Amy Cohen, co-Founder of Families for Safe Streets, who successfully led efforts to lower speed limits in New York City to 25 miles per hour and is currently campaigning to allow 20 mph speed limits in the city.
  • Natalie Draisin, Director of the North American Office and United Nations Representative for the FIA Foundation, who has been instrumental in the UN’s Streets for Life campaign calling for low speeds on urban streets.

While bringing about slower roads will be a long-term movement, we know that right now there are individuals, communities, and professionals who want slower roads. In the coming months we will be supporting state legislation, publishing research, and discussing how “Slow Roads Save Lives” for everyone on our roadways. Help us show the nationwide demand for slow roads that benefit everyone.

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