Tuesday, May 24, 2011

National report: Florida ranked most dangerous state for pedestrians

Joint T4-America and BikeWalkLee press release 5/24/11
Pedestrians disproportionally injured and killed due to poor street design and lack of funding; BikeWalkLee urges Congress to support increased focus on pedestrian (and bicyclist) safety

Fort Myers, FL — Florida is the most dangerous state in the nation for pedestrians, a new report released by Transportation for America shows. During the ten years from 2000 to 2009, 5,163 Floridians were killed while walking – a total that's almost 11% of all those killed nationwide while walking during the same period.

Dangerous by Design 2011: Solving the Epidemic of Preventable Pedestrian Deaths (and Making Great Neighborhoods), ranks America’s major metropolitan areas and states according to a Pedestrian Danger Index that measures the relative risk to pedestrians. It determined that the top four deadliest major metropolitan areas in the country for pedestrians are in Florida—Orlando, Tampa, Jacksonville, and Miami.

Lee County’s pedestrian fatality rate was more than twice the national average for the years 2000-2009. The Lee County pedestrian fatality rate was 3.4 pedestrian fatalities per 100,000 people, compared with 1.6 nationwide and 3.0 for Florida overall. In Lee County there were 178 pedestrian deaths during the last decade, comprising 17% of all traffic fatalities (same as the state average) -- which was 42% above the national average. The annual study was prepared and released by Transportation for America, a national coalition working for transportation reform.

“Lee County’s pedestrians are at increased risk because not enough resources are invested to protect all the users of our road system," said Darla Letourneau with BikeWalkLee, a local coalition working to encourage complete streets in Lee County. “With 22% of all traffic deaths in Florida being pedestrians or bicyclists (17% pedestrians and 5% bicyclists), it is unacceptable that Florida only spends 1.5% of its federal transportation dollars to improve the safety of walking and bicycling.”

Click here to continue reading.

Here are links to the related documents:

Joint BikeWalkLee & Transportation for America 5/24/11 press release
BWL chart: How Lee County compares with Florida and Nation

Dangerous by Design 2011: Florida report

Dangerous by Design 2011: National Report: Note: Lee County positive actions & BikeWalkLee advocacy efforts on complete streets are highlighted on p. 15.

Interactive map of fatalities (enter address & find pedestrian fatalities (2000-2007) within 60 mile radius)

For background on Lee County bike/ped safety issues and recommendations, see MPO’s countywide bicycle pedestrian master plan (adopted 5/20/11):(safety sections: p. 5, p. 31-35, & recommendations, p. 95-101)

Today's WGCU/NPR "Gulf Coast Live" program, titled "Pedestrian-Friendly Lee County," focused on a vision for growth and development in Lehigh Acres, and efforts to make Lee County more pedestrian friendly. Kathie Ebaugh from Lee County Planning office and Dan Moser from BikeWalkLee participated in panel. Listen to the program online (ped safety, with discussion of Dangerous by Design report, begins about halfway through). Click here to listen to the program.

Today's News-Press article: "Lee County has more than double US average in pedestrian deaths during last decade"

News-Press 5/25/11 edition also carried the USA Today Story, "Florida urban areas top danger list for pedestrians.

Report says that Florida owns title of most dangerous state for pedestrians, which discusses FL Legislature failure to enact any traffic safety measures.

Recording of Transportation for America’s 5/24/11 Press telebriefing on D by D report:
(note it’s a large file so give it time to download). The panel presentation takes about 30 minutes, then there was Q & A with national press for 20 minutes)
National Telebriefing Participants:
James Corless, Director, Transportation for America
Michelle Ernst, Principle Author, ”Dangerous by Design 2011”
Barbara McCann, Director, Complete Streets Coalition
Dr. Tony DeLucia, PhD, East Tennessee State University, James H. Quillen College of Medicine

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