With somber regularity, the number of those killed trying to walk anywhere near New Mexico roads continues to rise. UNM’s Geospatial and Population Studies Traffic Research Unit released its New Mexico Monthly Traffic Fatality Report for June 2019, and we’re on an rate of death that would eclipse last year’s record of 82.
Looking back through annual fatality reports through June as far back as 2010, it’s clear we’re simply in a new, lasting era of pedestrian carnage, not a blip or outlier:
It’s just “normal” now for pedestrians to die at record rates, both here and around the country, and until major steps (e.g., drivers slowing the fuck down) are taken to reverse the deadly trend, there’s no reason to think NM won’t be hitting 100 annual deaths in a year, regularly, soon.
The June report also shows overall traffic deaths up in 2019 over the past two years, with the ratio of pedestrian deaths back under under 25% (45 of 197), after reaching absurd highs near 30% recently.
Still the ratio between the percentage who walk v. drive and those killed trying to walk v. killed continues to be hugely disproportionate. The recent “Vision Zero” pledge by Albuquerque Mayor Tim Keller to truly address this public health issue and proposed renewal of Albuquerque’s Complete Streets Ordinance to make streets safer, particularly in low-income areas and neighborhoods with higher percentages of elderly and/or disabled folks, must have meaningful implementation/funding teeth if we are to reverse this new, sickening normal.