Installation 11: Walk On
Here to there.
Hello again. Here in the USA, pedestrian fatalities are still way up from a decade ago, and they still happen at a higher rate than in any other wealthy country. And I’m still furious about it! The newest issue of the New York Review of Books has a review-essay I wrote about Angie Schmitt’s important work on pedestrian death. I also survey how the pandemic did/didn’t change our streets. The piece is behind a subscription wall—but I think you can register for a free account that lets you read one article. (Also, you could … subscribe!)
Longtime followers will remember that I’ve written on this subject before, most directly in this 2019 piece for The Guardian about pedestrian death trends worldwide––and the false promise of high-tech solutions on offer from Silicon Valley.
This time around, following Schmitt’s lead, I ignored Silicon Valley altogether and took a closer look at some USA-specific dimensions of the problem. The fate of pedestrianism is more important than ever; there’s no practical vision of a quick-enough, livable decarbonization that doesn’t involve fewer cars in our cities (yes, Tesla fans, this applies even if the cars are electric––a topic for another day). We need to figure out to keep getting around, and how to stay safe doing it.
It was stimulating to work on this piece while also inching into my next novel, in which questions about how people get from place to place are … quite central.
Speaking of Next Book Research. Here’s a question I posted on Twitter recently:
I’ll be reading through the responses over the next few months, and maybe writing here about my impressions. Please write in with any of your own personal faves that fit the bill.
Until next time,