Urban Reads: Angie Schmitt
Journalist Angie Schmitt discussed her book, Right of Way: Race, Class, and the Silent Epidemic of Pedestrian Deaths in America. Right of Way unveiled a crisis rooted in both inequality and the undeterred reign of the automobile in our cities. It challenged us to imagine and demand safer and more equitable cities, where no one is expendable.
In the last ten years, there has been a 50 percent increase in pedestrian deaths. In 2018 alone, more than 6,000 people were killed while walking in America. Despite the increase in deaths, the tragedy of traffic violence has barely registered with the media and wider culture. Disproportionately, the victims are immigrants, the poor, and people of color — who have largely been blamed and forgotten.
In Right of Way, Angie Schmitt examines the possible causes of the increase in pedestrian deaths as well as programs and movements that are beginning to respond to the epidemic. She shows us that these deaths are not unavoidable “accidents” that happen because of jaywalking or distracted walking. They are predictable, occurring in stark geographic patterns that tell a story about systemic inequality. These deaths are the forgotten faces of an increasingly urgent public-health crisis that we have the tools, but not the will, to solve.
About Angie Schmitt
Angie Schmitt is one of the country's best known writers and experts on the topic of sustainable transportation. She was the long-time national editor at Streetsblog and her writing has appeared in the New York Times, The Atlantic, Bicycling, GOOD, Landscape Architecture Magazine, and a number of other publications. She lives in Cleveland with her husband and two children.
About Urban Reads
The Kinder Institute's Urban Reads series showcases recently published works on pressing urban issues by local and national authors.