Making Streets Safer for Pedestrians

South Grand Boulevard "Great Streets Initiative," St. Louis, MO, 2011 Professional ASLA Honor Award, Analysis and Planning Category image: Design Workshop, Inc.
South Grand Boulevard “Great Streets Initiative,” St. Louis, MO, 2011 Professional ASLA Honor Award, Analysis and Planning Category
image: Design Workshop, Inc.

Dangerous by Design 2016 was released today by advocacy group Smart Growth America in collaboration with AARP, the American Society of Landscape Architects, and Nelson\Nygaard Consulting Associated.

The new report identifies the most dangerous places in the nation to be a pedestrian, and how state and local policies that address transportation planning and design can help address this critical issue. The 2016 edition includes new Pedestrian Danger Index (PDI) numbers for all 50 states and the District of Columbia, and an expanded examination of metro areas from 51 to 104 regions around the country.

In addition to the report, which is available to download, Smart Growth America has also released two interactive maps that explore pedestrian fatality data in greater detail, using data from the National Highway Transportation Safety Administration’s Fatality Analysis Reporting System.

Dangerous by Design 2016‘s data on the most vulnerable populations shows that people of color and older adults are overrepresented among pedestrian deaths. In addition, PDI is strongly correlated with median household income and rates of uninsured individuals. Low-income metro areas are predictably more dangerous than higher-income ones: as median household incomes drop, PDIs rise. Similar trends bear out with rates of uninsured individuals: as rates of uninsured individuals rise, so do PDIs, meaning that the people who can least afford to be injured often live in the most dangerous places.

The last section of the report features recommendations on how to make streets safer by design and by taking a Complete Streets approach.

To kick off the report’s release, Smart Growth America will host a webinar on Tuesday, January 10 at 1:00 pm EST. The webinar will provide participants an overview of the 2016 edition, and an opportunity to hear from researchers, national transportation policy experts, and local advocates. The presenters include:

Trenda McPherson, State Bicycle/Pedestrian Safety Program Manager, Florida Department of Transportation

Nancy LeaMond, Executive Vice President and Chief Advocacy & Engagement Officer, AARP

Charles T. Brown, MPA, Senior Researcher, Alan M. Voorhees Transportation Center, Rutgers: The State University of New Jersey

Emiko Atherton, Director, National Complete Streets Coalition, Smart Growth America

To support ASLA’s efforts to impact public policy regarding transportation planning and design at national, state and local levels, sign up for ASLA’s iAdvocate network. The ASLA iAdvocate Network provides you with the information and tools you need to quickly and effectively communicate with your policymakers about issues important to you and to the profession.

Smart Growth America also invites you to send a message to the incoming Secretary of Transportation and the Senate Commerce Committee staff to highlight the serious issue of pedestrian deaths and the need to make streets safer for pedestrians.

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