People are dying on our streets: Why is this happening and how can we talk about it responsibly?

The National Complete Streets Coalition continues our webinar series this month by investigating the increasing number of pedestrian deaths on our streets with two journalists who have reported on the topic. Join us each month for a new topic related to creating safer, healthier, more equitable streets.

Our upcoming webinar, People are dying on our streets: Why is this happening and how can we talk about it responsibly?, takes place on Tuesday, August 7 from 1:30—2:30 p.m. EDT.

We’ll be joined by journalists Eric D. Lawrence from the Detroit Free Press and Angie Schmitt from Streetsblog USA for a conversation about why people keep dying while walking in the U.S.—an issue that continues to grab national headlines—and how we can talk about both the problem and solutions responsibly. The webinar will conclude with a Q&A moderated by the Director of the National Complete Streets Coalition, Emiko Atherton.

This conversation comes as we prepare for our flagship report, Dangerous by Design 2018, and while the U.S. is seeing an unprecedented increases in pedestrian deaths. Dangerous by Design 2016 showed that people of color and older adults are overrepresented among pedestrian deaths. The report also ranked metro areas by how dangerous they are to pedestrians. You can help support this research based approach to the problem by donating to Dangerous by Design 2018.

But not everyone is quite as evidence-based and there has been a lot of speculation from the media about why more people walking are being killed on our streets. So how can we be responsible in talking about this problem and solutions? Our two guests have a few ideas.

Eric D. Lawrence, along with his colleagues at the Detroit Free Press, recently addressed this rise in pedestrian fatalities with some great, in depth reporting explaining why SUVs are a leading cause of pedestrian deaths nationwide.

“Almost 6,000 pedestrians died on or along U.S. roads in 2016 alone—nearly as many Americans as have died in combat in Iraq and Afghanistan since 2002.” – Eric D. Lawrence, Nathan Bomey and Kristi Tanner, Detroit Free Press

Angie Schmitt—and Streetsblog more broadly—has addressed the media speculation head on, often pushing back grossly misleading claims like “drunk walking” or “distracted walking” to get to the real issue.

“The more press coverage of pedestrians fatalities blames victims, the less pressure there is to rethink the eight-lane speedways and dangerous SUV designs that jeopardize people’s lives.” – Angie Schmitt, Streetsblog USA

Register for the webinar

Please join us for a presentation and conversation about the coverage of the pedestrian safety issues. This webinar will include closed captioning services.

Have a question about this topic that you’d be interested for us to explore during the event? Email it to us ahead of time at [email protected], or find us on Twitter at @completestreets.

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