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.
Dangerous by Design
Crossposted from Medium.
More people drove in 2016 than in 2015, according to new data released this week by the Governors Highway Safety Association (GHSA). Alongside that increase was a disproportionately high rise in pedestrian fatalities — a trend that the authors attribute to increases in distracted driving and distracted walking.
Yesterday, the Senate voted to confirm Elaine Chao as the next Secretary of Transportation.
To Secretary Chao we say congratulations. America’s transportation system is a key part of our economy and our communities, and in your new position you have a unique and valuable opportunity to improve this country.
Chao already has experience running a federal agency, and has made clear that safety will be a priority for her time as transportation secretary. We think that’s fantastic—especially if she means making streets safer for people walking and biking.
On Tuesday we released Dangerous by Design 2016, new research looking at the epidemic of pedestrian fatalities across the United States and how changing the way we build our streets can help address it.
The U.S. Department of Transportation has the ability and responsibility to address this epidemic. And tomorrow, January 11, Congress is scheduled to hold the confirmation hearing for Elaine Chao, Trump’s nominee for the next transportation secretary. That makes this week a unique opportunity to shine a spotlight on pedestrian deaths.
Between 2005 and 2014, a total of 46,149 people were struck and killed by cars while walking. That averages out to about 13 people per day—and each one of those people was a child, parent, friend, classmate, or neighbor.
Between 2005 and 2014, a total of 46,149 people were struck and killed by cars while walking. In 2014, the most recent year for which data are available, 4,884 people were killed by a car while walking—105 people more than in 2013. On average, 13 people were struck and killed by a car while walking every day in 2014. And between 2005 and 2014, Americans were 7.2 times more likely to die as a pedestrian than from a natural disaster. Each one of those people was a child, parent, friend, classmate, or neighbor. And these tragedies are occurring across the country—in small towns and big cities, in communities on the coast and in the heartland.
Where is it most dangerous to be a pedestrian in the United States? On January 10, 2017, Smart Growth America will release Dangerous by Design 2016, our flagship report about the American epidemic of pedestrian deaths.
Thunderbird Avenue in Phoenix, AZ. Photo via Ped/Bike Images.
Americans today are walking and bicycling for fun, for their health, and as a way to get where they need to go. But in too many communities, roads are unsafe for people traveling by foot or bike. Today, the U.S. Department of Transportation (USDOT) announced plans to help end this deadly problem.
At the Pro Walk/Pro Bike/Pro Place conference this morning in Pittsburgh, USDOT Secretary Anthony Foxx announced a new federal initiative to make roads safer for people bicycling and walking. According to a USDOT release, the 18-month campaign will begin with road safety assessments conducted by USDOT field offices in every state, and will produce multiple resources to help communities build streets that are safer for people walking, bicycling, and taking public transportation.
“They’re gonna need to see this upstairs” — that’s what the staff at the U.S. Department of Transportation said about your letters this week.
By Monday afternoon, over 1500 of you made your voices heard in support of stronger transportation safety measures through our online action. Geoff Anderson, president and CEO of Smart Growth America, personally delivered your letters calling on USDOT to require that states set real targets for reducing the number of deaths and serious injuries on our streets and that they be held accountable as they work toward those goals.