The Nearly Extinct Bipedus Norteamericanus Makes a Comeback

Anthropologists and transit advocates have long bemoaned the rise of The Sacred Rac, its subsequent worship by the majority of the people of the Asu tribe, and the attendant demise of bipedus norteamericanus, or the common pedestrian.  But new evidence appears every day that the once-endangered pedestrian may be seeing a resurgence in urban habitats throughout the nation.  

Cities around the country have committed to recovering habitat for the pedestrian, with reduced Rac speed limits, bans on Racs in certain tracts of metropolis, extensive traffic calming, zebra crosswalks, and pedestrian countdown signals.

Last week billionaire conservationist Michael Bloomberg vowed to open a large swath of former Rac territory to the pedestrian in New York City, a move not without its detractors.  Following on the heels of his Summer Streets initiative, there is great hope this pilot reclamation will be a success.

Though it celebrated a temporary habitat recovery last summer for Sunday Streets, San Francisco lags far behind other cities in restoring the delicate biomes that support the safety and health of the pedestrian.  According to a report from an agency that monitors Rac safety, San Francisco ranks in the top-five most dangerous large cities for pedestrians.

Though San Francisco has plans for pedestrian priority and complete streets, clearly much work remains to be done to ensure the survival of bipedus norteamericanus.  We look forward to San Francisco’s announcement of the new Sunday Streets schedule for this year, which we hope will rival Seattle’s own Summer Streets program.

  • We need to do more of this great anology and storytelling work –

    It helps put into perspective the very odd behaviours we otherwise think normal. A good example is how if space aliens ever visted earth one day they would think dogs rule; as humans follow them on a leash, pick up thier poop, feed, water and wash them, and even open the door whenever they beckon…..yes, dogs and therefore Racs must rule…..!

  • Sarah Story

    I’ve been enjoying reading these Matthew =) I also emailed this one to my Urban Anthro prof cuz talk about this stuff in class haha

  • susan

    We need some of this in Seattle. Though there does seem to be more cyclists here than in NYC, there are very few racks and cycling isn’t truly promoted. As for those common streetwalkers, they are very rare, indeed. Might it be the hills? Hm. Good work, Mr. Roth. I look forward to reading more.


Task Force Begins Meeting to Develop Pedestrian Action Plan

A Pedestrian Safety Task Force charged with coordinating and implementing actions to reduce pedestrian injuries and fatalities in San Francisco met for the first time Tuesday, bringing together a large group of representatives from different city departments who rarely sit down at the same table to talk about pedestrian safety. “I do think that having […]