Yesterday’s Albuquerque Journal featured a meaningful, thoughtful, and insightful editorial (e.g.., it does a very good job of summing up what this blog is all about) on deaths to those walking our roadways. Kudos to the Journal Editorial Board and not just because Better Burque was mentioned. Raising awareness of the issue and doing so beyond mere “out of crosswalk/dark clothing” victim-blaming is vitally important, particularly when done by New Mexico’s Paper of Record.
The editorial reminded me of what I’m reading in Peter Norton’s 2008 book Fighting Traffic. This book on the rise of automobiles and demonization of pedestrians was suggested by a friend, and is a great read for anyone interested in such matters. Here’s an excerpt on public perception and newspaper editorial position a century ago:
Swinging the court of public opinion back to open recommendations of motorist lynching might be a bit much, but the generally further we move away from simplistic victim-blaming and toward better understanding of the multiple factors of personal responsibility and roadway design at fault for the current crisis in roadway walking deaths, the better.
Yesterday’s Journal editorial was a step in that direction. The paper is commended for taking time, newspaper space and thoughtful consideration on this topic.
P.S.: From talking to folks, my sense is that an insufficient number of Burqueans (i.e., fewer than 100% of residents) know how amazingly great our Library system’s online presence is. Anyone with a card can go online and not only put books on hold, but also access Newspaper Archive and Sanborn maps for free, access tons of genealogy resources, and read books like Fighting Traffic online. One of my favorite resources there is a collection of old Albuquerque postcards, including treasures like this:
Haven’t you always wished you had a postcard photo of the Central/Girard/Monte Vista intersection to send to out-of-town/country friends? Note also the perhaps questionable factoid included.
Seriously, check out the Library site if you haven’t really done so previously. A glorious, glorious time-sink of fun.