An op-ed written by one of the wsj editorial board staffers illustrates a certain strain of belief in have-your-cake-and-eat-too-sism. Kaminski, in decrying how the mayor Mike McGinn (whom he gleefully points out is referred to as mayor McSchwinn by his political foes. Get it? it rhymes with McGinn) of Seattle worked to block the building of some car-based project; later claims that “Seattleites say they want to save the planet from global warming, but in their personal lives they want safe streets…”.
The disconnect Kaminski, and others of his ideological ilk, is this; that somehow streets can be made safer by ever-expanding the number and speed of privately operated motor vehicles. But this is simply not possible. Faster and more always equals more dead; mostly more motorists, but also more dead peds, and more dead bicyclists. The numbers are stark; comparing e.g. Phoenix with Seattle (metro areas), the Dangerous by Design survey estimates Phoenix to be FOUR TIMES more deadly to pedestrians than Seattle. The number spills over not just in pedestrian deaths, but also cyclists deaths, and also to MOTORISTS deaths; see e.g. Beyond Safety in Numbers: why bike friendly cities are safer (for everybody).
Thus Kaminski rejects car-user-fees as hair-brained; yet motorists are the source of enormous externalities — economic impacts that aren’t paid for by their users — from air pollution (never mind ‘global warming’), to mayhem, to free parking.
By the way, McGinn has only been mayor for the past two years; I’m not suggesting that McGinn has made it safer. It was already safe, relatively speaking — due in no small part to its general overall “anti-car” culture.
Seattle DOT (SDOT) puts out a fancy traffic safety report (every year, i imagine), e.g. here is 2011. Note the “speed studies”, p 7-7… their major streets are posted speed limits of mostly 35, with a few at 30, and one at 45. The 85th percentile speeds were running in the high 30’s.