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Smart Growth America releases Dangerous by Design 2016

Smart Growth America has released Dangerous by Design 2016, the fourth edition of a ranking of the most dangerous U.S. metro areas for pedestrians. While the report showed pedestrian fatalities remain an alarming epidemic, it offered some good news for Americans who travel on foot.  “More than 1,200 Complete Streets policies are now in place at the state, regional, and local level,” the report said. “And over the last year, federal agencies have followed suit with new changes in national policy intended to make streets safer for everyone.”

The 2016 report ranks the 104 largest U.S. metro areas and every state by a “Pedestrian Danger Index.” PDI is a calculation of the share of local commuters who walk to work and the most recent data on pedestrian deaths.

In 2014, the most recent year for which data are available, 4,884 pedestrians were struck and killed by vehicles. That’s an average of 13 pedestrian fatalities per day. Between 2005 and 2014, Americans were 7.2 times more likely to die while traveling on foot than from a natural disaster. But unlike natural disasters, pedestrian-vehicular collisions can be prevented.

In past years, the Orlando-Kissimmee-Sanford area topped the Dangerous by Design list of the most dangerous places to walk in America. The newest report ranks the region third with a 9.6-point reduction on the 2016 Pedestrian Danger Index (PDI). The drop indicates that pedestrian safety measures are making a positive impact, but this is just a starting point. Until 13 people a day turns to zero, the work to improve pedestrian safety won’t be finished.

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