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No, not the bad boys your mother warned you about, but the streets you may (try to) walk along everyday.

Transportation for America’s latest report has plenty of media-catching data:

  • between 2000 and 2009 more than 47,700 pedestrians were killed in the United States, the equivalent of a jumbo jet crash every month
  • in that same time period, a pedestrian was struck by a car or truck every 7 minutes
  • while motorist deaths have dropped 27 percent in the past decade, pedestrian fatalities have fallen at only half that rate, by just over 14 percent.

But you won’t be surprised to hear that a scant fraction of federal transportation funding distributed to states for local projects is dedicated to pedestrian safety. An attitude shift needs to drive a funding shift. “Taxpayer money…should be used to build streets, roads, and highways that are safe for all users.”

Part of that attitude shift could be encouraged by viewing the transportation bill as a health bill–it affects our air quality and our ability to safely get exercise by walking more and driving less.

Of course, the most fun part of these kind of reports is seeing where we stand compared to other metro areas. The most dangerous–Orlando-Kissimmee, Florida–with a pedestrian danger index of 255.4. The D.C. metro area rated a 54.6 danger index. Not bad, but not as good as the safest metro area, Boston, with a pedestrian danger index of 21.6.

If you’re curious about just how walkable your neighborhood is, try this site.

One Response to “Dangerous by Design”

  1. Jon

    Didn’t know the numbers were that high. I think local government can do a lot about lowering these numbers . In our newer housing area they have done away with sidewalks, you are forced to walk in the streets.