Last year alone, over 32,000 Americans died on the road — far exceeding the death tolls of American serviceman in Iraq and Afghanistan in over ten years of war. And yet that number — high as it seems — is actually the lowest it’s been in over six decades. Thanks to a combination of design changes, legal safeguards and public awareness, Americans today are over five times less likely to be killed while driving than they were in the 1950s.
Now Chicago is aiming for a new number — zero. Last week the city’s transportation department released an action agenda which reads like something out of a utopian fantasy. It’s stated goal: "to eliminate all pedestrian, bicycle, and overall traffic crash fatalities within 10 years."
Chicago's transportation commissioner Gabe Klein explains the rationality behind a seemingly irrational goal.