- In 1934, The Oregonian’s ‘Let’s Quit Killing’ campaign declared a war on traffic deaths – BikePortland.org (PDF)
Slow-moving, prosperous and desirable central city streets are nothing new; they’re just a return to the traditional ideas of our great-grandparents.
And here in Portland, a citywide goal to take public responsibility for traffic fatalities isn’t new, either. In the 1930s, as they felt their city changing fast, our great-grandparents’ generation responded with what became a nationally-known campaign that was strikingly similar to Vision Zero or the Dutch Stop de Kindermoord movement of the 1970s.
The campaign was called “Let’s Quit Killing,” and it was a collaboration among The Oregonian, the Oregon State Motor association, Mayor Joseph Carson, the police department’s traffic division and a citizen “army” of volunteer infraction-spotters.
Sorry to burst your bubble. But Chicago streets were never ‘slow-moving‘. They were relatively more prosperous 81 years ago. But they were far more segregated than they are today.
And while State Street was at one time the destination for holiday shoppers it was hardly a ‘desirable central city location‘ in real terms. What has changed is that the automobile has made it possible for people to have shopping districts more evenly distributed throughout the city and the collar suburbs.
My guess is that by 2096 the advances in collision-avoidance technology on cars will have ‘saved the day‘. In fact cars will be so very safe that they will be the preferred mode of transportation for those pedestrians not wishing to chance getting run over by bicyclists.