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 Transportation Safety Board released recommendations focused on improving pedestrian safety in light of the alarming and continuing uptick in pedestrian deaths since 2009. The recommendations themselves are targeted at actions other federal agencies can take, but there are still some lessons to take away from the recommendations as a whole.
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.
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.
Left: Secretary Foxx, photo by USDOT. Right: people walking and bicycling in Charlotte, NC. Photo by James Willamor
Yesterday, U.S. Transportation Secretary Anthony Foxx launched the Mayors’ Challenge for Safer People and Safer Streets—inviting mayors and other local elected officials to take significant action to improve the safety of their constituents who walk or bicycle in the next year.
Their first action: attending the Mayors’ Summit for Safer People, Safer Streets this March.
Deerfield Beach was the first community in the state of Florida to adopt Complete Streets guidelines in 2013, and that’s just the start of the city’s efforts to grow sustainably, encourage active transportation and make streets safer for residents. Amanda Martinez, Interim Director of the City’s Planning and Development Services Department, is finding the right partnerships and opportunities to make these changes happen with limited funds.
Deerfield Beach is a suburban community located in Broward County, FL with a population of 78,000. The beachfront city is a popular destination for both permanent and seasonal residents including the region’s senior population.
Deerfield Beach’s village feel distinguishes it from many neighboring communities, yet like much of Broward County it is essentially built out. With just three percent vacant land, the city is now looking at how to accommodate future growth through infill development and redevelopment while preserving the village quality that residents love.
Every day, in communities across the country, people are killed while walking to school, to work or to the store. From 2003 to 2012, more than 47,000 people were killed while walking – sixteen times the number of people who died in natural disasters, but without the corresponding level of urgency. But these deaths can be prevented and it is past time for our state and federal leaders to act.
Dangerous by Design 2014, a new report released today by the National Complete Streets Coalition, a program of Smart Growth America, takes a look at where these fatalities happen and who’s most at risk, presenting data from every county, metro area, and state. The report also ranks the major metropolitan areas according to the Pedestrian Danger Index (PDI), which assesses the safety of walking by normalizing fatality rates by how often people walk to work, and by the share of traffic fatalities suffered by people on foot.
As in past years, Sunbelt communities that grew in the post-war period top the list of most dangerous regions according to the PDI: Orlando, Tampa-St. Petersburg, Jacksonville, Miami, Memphis, Birmingham, Houston, Atlanta and Charlotte. These areas developed rapidly, with many low-density neighborhoods overly dependent on extra wide, fast arterial roads to connect homes, schools, jobs and shops. Such roads rarely feature the facilities needed for safe travel by foot.
The report also calls out the unacceptably high number of pedestrian deaths seen in nearly every major metro region. The fact is that even our most walk-friendly communities can—and must—do more.
Photo of U.S. Highway 101 as it passes through the Smith River Rancheria, from AARoads.
This post was co-written by Terry Supahan, President of Supahan Consulting Group.
With technical assistance from Smart Growth America, the Smith River Rancheria, a federally recognized tribal government, secured a $2.5 million TIGER grant for the U.S. Highway 101 Multimodal Smith River Safety Corridor project. The project will implement walking and bicycling safety improvements along approximately 1.3 miles of the Gateway Area of U.S. 101 in California just south of the Oregon border. Project elements include unique colorized, stamped shoulder treatments, new signage, lighting, and related improvements. The objectives of these investments are to increase safety, especially for pedestrians, bicyclists, and other vulnerable users, as well as calm traffic, expand travel choices, and enhance community identity and livability.