imagine your new product creates jobs but kills 33,000 people per year

Posted on February 8, 2012


from the archive of @Brooklynspoke

In 2009, 33,000 people were killed by cars nationwide.  [Randy] Cohen asked the crowd to think about that for a second.  “Imagine you’re introducing a new transportation system,” Cohen said, “but there’s one catch: it will kill 33,000 people a year.”  Cohen hardly needed to point out that few Americans would think it was okay to build something from the ground up with such a high casualty rate, yet that’s where we stand with cars right now.

Cohen asked the room full of cyclists how many people knew someone who had been hospitalized as a result of being hit by a bike or who had been hospitalized themselves for the same reason.  Only two or three hands went up.  But when Cohen asked the same question, this time involving cars, almost every hand in the room went up.

The vast majority of today’s infrastructure is publicly owned and operated. Imagine if a privately-owned and operated transportation system experienced as much death and destruction as the one you currently pay for.

Posted in: News + Trends