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Vehicular Terrorism in the Age of Vision Zero

Deadly attacks by car and truck are on the rise, but cities often fail to respond in ways that protect the most vulnerable road users. Here’s how anti-terror infrastructure can ease walking, biking, and public transit use, not impede it.
Pedestrians walk past barriers near the scene of the 2017 attack on London's Westminster Bridge.
Pedestrians walk past barriers near the scene of the 2017 attack on London's Westminster Bridge.Toby Melville/Reuters

London, New York, Toronto, Nice, Munster, Barcelona, Toronto, Charlottesville, Berlin, Stockholm: Over the past two years, at least 146 people have died, and hundreds more have suffered injury, at the hands of killers wielding not guns or bombs, but using cars and trucks as weapons of terror.

Cities have so far responded to this new threat in an ad-hoc manner. Many have begun to erect physical barriers between the walkers who define their urban spaces and the multi-ton vehicles whose drivers pose a growing threat.