Today, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) unveiled their Active People, Healthy NationSM initiative on Capitol Hill focused on improving America’s health through physical activity. But access to safe and reliable active transportation options is critically important to achieving their goals, and many of our roads remain unsafe and inaccessible to people outside of a vehicle. A new off-year update to Dangerous by Design—also released today—shows that the number of people struck and killed or seriously injured while walking, biking, or rolling continues to increase, and that most states are asleep at the wheel.
Dangerous by Design
We took a look at one busy road outside of Orlando where a dozen people have been struck and killed by drivers in recent years. The mix of high-speed traffic with people walking, biking, and taking transit is a dangerous combination; in the event of a crash, people die. The Complete Streets Act of 2019 would go a long way to give local government more resources to redesign these dangerous streets so everyone can travel along them safely.
U.S. transportation policy focuses first and foremost on ensuring that drivers can travel with as little delay as possible. But this laser focus on speed sidelines other more important considerations like the preservation of human life and the health impacts of vehicle pollution. Prioritizing safety in our transportation policy—at the federal, state, and local levels—would be a major step towards a more equitable transportation system.
As the number of Americans walking and biking struck and killed by drivers each year reaches highs not seen in decades, Rep. Stephen Cohen (TN-9) brought local stakeholders together in his Memphis district to address this crisis. His legislation—the Complete Streets Act of 2019—is a needed first step, but as local advocates noted, alone it won’t be enough to save lives and create the safe and modern transportation system that America needs.
In the wake of Dangerous by Design making headlines from coast to coast, staff from the key Senate committee responsible for the largest portion of federal transportation policy invited us to come to Capitol Hill and explain the problem in more detail, and tell them what Congress can and should be doing to end this epidemic of preventable pedestrian deaths.
Earlier this month the National Complete Streets Coalition walked through the finding of Dangerous by Design 2019 on a webinar and answered some top questions during the broadcast. While we weren’t able to get to all of the questions live, here are the answers to some popular questions we received.
Too many Americans are being struck and killed by the drivers of cars, trucks, and SUVs while walking. Dangerous by Design 2019, released today, chronicles the preventable epidemic of pedestrian fatalities, which have been steadily increasing in recent years, even as traffic fatalities overall have been decreasing.
Between 2008 and 2017, drivers struck and killed 49,340 people who were walking on streets all across the United States. That’s more than 13 people per day, or one person every hour and 46 minutes. It’s the equivalent of a jumbo jet full of people crashing—with no survivors—every single month. In the past decade, the … Continued
On January 23, 2019, the National Complete Streets Coalition will release Dangerous by Design 2018, the most up-to-date look at how dangerous each state and large metro areas are for people walking. Join us for a webinar to hear from experts about the report findings and how we can address this epidemic of pedestrian deaths.
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 next month for a new topic related to creating safer, healthier, more equitable streets.