Tuesday, September 20, 2011

OKC ranked 22nd in Most Dangerous Cities for Pedestrians

Walking is the first and most basic method of transportation. At least one-third of Americans cannot or choose not to drive and, and for most of them, being a pedestrian is an integral part of their daily life. This group includes children and young adolescents, older adults who no longer drive, people with disabilities, low-income individuals and a growing number who seek to avoid the costs of owning and maintaining a car.

Pedestrian injury is the third leading cause of death by unintentional injury for children 15 and younger, according to CDC mortality data. Nearly 3,900 children 15 years and younger were killed while walking from 2000 through 2007, representing between 25 and 30 percent of all traffic deaths. When surveyed, parents express concerns about a range of perceived safety hazards: the amount of traffic on roads(71.3%), the speed of traffic (69.8%), inadequate or missing sidewalks (48.6%) and poor quality or missing crosswalks(39%).

The list of the most dangerous metro areas for walking is striking in that all of the ten metro areas are in the South or West, and have seen rapid growth in recent decades of low-density development, characterized by high-speed urban roads that are particularly hazardous for walking. 52 US cities were ranked in the study.

The study ranked 52 of largest metro areas (those with at least 1 million residents as of 2009) according to their ten-year Pedestrian Danger Index. The most dangerous cities for pedestrians include Orlando, Tampa, Jacksonville, Miami, FL and Riverside, CA. Oklahoma City ranked 22nd behind Louisville, KY, Richmond, VA and Sacramento, CA. Amazingly, OKC is considered more pedestrian-friendly than St. Louis and Kansas City, MO as well as Tucson, AZ.

Visit Transportation for America for more information on this study.

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