One of the things I love about the #365ofgoodWR project is that it reminds us that even though there are lots of challenging and unfortunate situations all around us, there are many folks offering support in a wide variety of ways. I definitely try to offer some positive news in what sometimes feels like a flood of bad news. But, sometimes I lose patience and get angry about the the slow pace forward, or even the steps backwards we sometimes take. Today is one of those angry days.
Yesterday many of us learned that a pedestrian who had been hit by a motorist in Waterloo died due to her injuries. I didn't know this person, but hearing of her passing both saddened and angered me. I can only imagine what a huge loss this is to her friends and family and I send my condolences to them. But I'm tired of 'sending condolences' to people who are dying on our streets. We have come to accept pedestrian and cyclist deaths as an unfortunate consequence of 'efficient roads'. I don't believe it has to be that way. It starts with shifting our desire from efficient roads to safe roads and vibrant streets.
When I was campaigning last fall, traffic was the number one issue people wanted to discuss. And not one person was asking for faster, more efficient roads. Every single person wanted safer, calmer streets. I believe we can make that happen...with a little bit of action on our part.
Take some time to learn about Vision Zero and their principles for creating safe streets. Connect with a local organization who focuses on safe and active streets such as CycleWR or TriTAG. Tell your elected officials (both municipal and regional) that you expect our streets to be designed to prioritize the safety of its most vulnerable users. Go for a walk or ride your bike to a new area this month. My hope would be you love it as much as I do and decide to use active transportation options more often. But even if you don't, it at least provides you with the perspective of vulnerable road users - this is good for everyone.
I have long said that part of bringing #365ofgoodWR to our community is engaging with these important issues and making your voice heard. I believe we can have safe and vibrant streets in our region if we take the time to make it happen. I hope you'll join me in having our voices heard on this.