From the Daily Durning, Tom Durning sends Angie Schmidtt’s article on StreetsBlog takes a chunk out of that argument that pedestrians are contributing to being crashed into by cars. Ms. Schmidtt notes ” To get a sense of the real sources of risk for people on foot, it helps to look at where fatal crashes happen, because fatality rates have a very strong geographic component. That’s true both within cities — where fatalities tend to be concentrated on a relative small share of streets — and from city to city.”
Using national travel survey and crash fatality data, researchers from the University of Wisconsin compared safety per trip, not per capita. They found that “public policies and physical characteristics separate the safer cities from the more dangerous ones”.
When lists were then compared with the “Walk Friendly Community” and “Bicycle Friendly Community” rankings, there was a connection between high rankings and low fatality rates, suggesting that investing in walking and biking improvements resulted in safer streets. The researchers also surmised that communities that historically had more pedestrian and bike friendly streets may have continued that investment of good supportive infrastructure.
The graph below illustrates that several cities in Florida are the most dangerous for walking, while cities that have “stronger transit systems and walkable street grids tend to be the safest” . You are five times more likely to have pedestrian fatalities in cities without good walking infrastructure-it is not texting that is killing pedestrians, it is the acceptance of motordom dominance on the street infrastructure. Time to change that paradigm.