Roads designed for cars-only are so predominate today that cars kill approximately the same number of humans each year in America as guns do – roughly 40,000 each.
My heart breaks for the family of Aden Williams. His death was tragic and avoidable.
His untimely death suggests urgency for a more inclusive transportation network, and I am saddened by the West Palm Beach residents who live near South Dixie Highway, but no longer appreciate the wisdom behind improving that road’s design. Seemingly disconnected, 14-year-old Aden Williams’ death and the proposed narrowing of South Dixie Highway in West Palm Beach are related.
Aden, a William T. Dwyer High School honors student who aspired to be an engineer was struck by an SUV as he walked to a school bus stop in the early morning hours of January 29, and died on February 3 , from the injuries he sustained.
Some south-end West Palm Beach residents are no longer in favor of a previously supported, and now Florida Department of Transportation (FDOT) designed, narrowing of South Dixie Highway. Roads designed to move cars efficiently are typically asphalt deserts that warm the planet and push out slower, non-polluting, forms of transportation that are the hallmark of communities with high livability scores.
Roads designed for cars-only are so predominate today that cars kill approximately the same number of humans each year in America as guns do – roughly 40,000 each. Most tragically, Aden died from the leading cause of death for Americans 15 and younger – cars.
Aden wasn’t struck and killed on South Dixie Highway, but on a similarly designed stretch of Congress Avenue that, by design, encourages cars to move too quickly for pedestrians and bicycles to safely share the road.
The proposed redesign of South Dixie should be a model for the future, and not the target of scorn.
May God bless the family of Aden Williams during this challenging time.
TIMOTHY HULLIHAN, NORTH PALM BEACH