Thursday, January 31, 2019

Are pedestrians in peril?

BikeWalkLee Column
The News-Press, January 31, 2019
by Ken Gooderham

So just how dangerous is it to walk in Southwest Florida? It really depends on where and when you walk, with perhaps a little “why” thrown in as well.

The recently released “Dangerous by Design” 2019 report noted a rise in overall pedestrian deaths nationally, with Florida as the most dangerous state for pedestrian fatalities (again) and Lee County remaining in the Top 10 most dangerous metropolitan areas (albeit moving from its No. 1 position in 2016 to No. 8 in this edition) in the country – and eight of the top 10 most dangerous areas are in Florida).

Looking over a broader arc of time, from 2008 to 2017 nationally:
    • Vehicle miles traveled increased by 8.1%,
    • Walking as a share of all trips increase by less than 1%,
    • Traffic deaths among motor vehicle occupants decreased by 6.1%
    • And pedestrian deaths increased by 35.1%.

So we’re not really walking more, and it’s safer to be in a vehicle than it was before – but pedestrian deaths have jumped more than four times the increase in vehicle miles traveled. What gives?

A lot of the problem is being chalked up to street design – specifically, streets designed only to move motor traffic and not foot or bicycle traffic – as well as more distracted drivers… yes, we’re talking about you there texting on your cell phone as you drive to work.

Think about it… streets designed to move only motor vehicles (and move them as quickly as possible) usually leave out safe places for people to walk and bike – places away from fast-moving motor vehicles such as off-road sidewalks and shared use paths and buffered bike lanes – as well as safe places to cross the traffic lanes – crosswalks and other pedestrian crossings that are safe and convenient to use (for the walkers, that is).

Without those safe places, pedestrians and cyclists are either forced to find another route or forced to share the road in a way that’s not really sharing – and not really safe. Then add in the motor vehicle operator who is paying more attention to his or her electronic devices than they are to the demanding work of driving – and a momentary lapse in attention becomes a life-threatening situation for a nearby walker or biker who unfortunately has nowhere else to go but right next to the traffic lanes.

Enticing distractions and bad road designs – a recipe for pedestrian disaster.

But to go back to the initial question: How dangerous is it to walk or ride here? If you have choices – of routes, let’s say, or times of day or any other option that would let you take a safer route – you can probably feel pretty safe. Walk on the sidewalk or shared use path, ride on a bike path or bike lane – and, of course, keep your wits about you while you doing this – and you’ll more often than not return home safe.

But if you don’t have the luxury of making those kind of choices, if you have to walk along a busy road to get to work or school or shopping, and you have to do it during rush hour, before dawn or after dusk – being a pedestrian can be dangerous.

A lot of our major roadways – where jobs and shops and schools tend to be – weren’t design for pedestrian or bicycle traffic. They were designed to move vehicles as quickly as possible from A to B… and even with upgrades to overcome design flaws, they can still be a pretty scary place to walk or bike.

Pedestrians and cyclists can (and should) do whatever they can to be safer, more visible and more aware when they are biking or walking, Bright colors, flashing lights or reflectors and smart walking or biking make a difference.

Of course, we all should encourage our public officials to design and build better roadways (and fix the ones that need to be updated), roads that take into account ALL the users… because well-designed roads make ALL of us safer, whether we’re driving, biking or walking.

Finally, we should all start paying more attention to what we’re doing – whether we’re walking or biking or driving (but especially driving). Put down the phone, turn down the music, take off the headsets – and focus on the most important task at hand, getting yourself safely from one place to another.

Some dangers are done by design, others out of bad habits. Either way, we can and should do something about them.

Ready to ride or run?

Run?  Plenty of 5Ks this weekend and next, where you can run for education, clean water, the arts, scouting and even Rotary.. and there’s even a special Edison Festival race for kids! Details at,,, and

Ride? If the weather lets you hit the road, a few rides ahead: Critical Mass amasses for the downtown Fort Myers ride Friday night and the Sanibel ride Feb. 9 ( Looking for more? Head to Arcadia Feb. 9 for Ride for Tiny Town and 60-, 30- or 15-mile rides. ( Not enough? Then throw in the Wakey, Wakey! Sunday morning rides (helmets are required, no ear buds, and no aero bar use while in the group). 

Both? Upcoming events include:
  • Sunday, Feb.11: Tri Your Heart Out sprint, Sarasota (
  • Saturday, May 11: Cape Coral Sprint Tri (
  • Saturday, May 18: Life’s a Beach Tri, Sarasota (
  • Sunday, June 2: 33rd Annual Fitness Challenge Triathlon, Naples (
  • Sunday, June 9: Heartland Sprint and Olympic Tri, Sebring (
  • Sunday, June 23: Sirens Sprint Tri, Sarasota (
  • Willing to drive? Check or for tris around the state.


Have a favorite route you like to bike, or a unique walk you’d like to share with others? Tell us about it at, and maybe we can feature it in an upcoming column.

# # #

Ken Gooderham writes this on behalf of BikeWalkLee, a community coalition raising public awareness and advocating for complete streets in Lee County — streets that are designed, built, operated and maintained for safe and convenient travel for all users: pedestrians, bicyclists, motorists, and transit riders of all ages and abilities. Information, statistics and background online at 


Wednesday, January 30, 2019

Lee County shows very slight improvement in safety ranking

Florida Weekly 'Outdoors' column, 1/30/2019

Unenforced sidewalk parking violations is one reason we have such a poor pedestrian record. DAN MOSER / FLORIDA WEEKLY
The 2019 Dangerous by Design report has been released and once again Florida is the most dangerous state in America for pedestrians. Eight of the top 10 worst metro areas are in our state. While the Cape Coral-Fort Myers metro area — all of Lee County — moved from first to eighth most dangerous, it’s primarily because other communities had a reduction in pedestrians walking to work, and that factors into the index used for the rankings.

So there’s really nothing to celebrate when it comes to Lee County’s improvement. Admittedly, there have been a number of bike/ped infrastructure additions since the last report, but many of our elected representatives and transportation officials’ mindsets remains focused on moving as many motor vehicles as efficiently as possible with the plight of non-motorists being of secondary concern.

In 2018, pedestrians accounted for 23 of the total of 93 overall traffic fatalities in Lee County, meaning approximately one of every four of those killed was a pedestrian — well above the national average — as has been the case for many years. Cyclists fared better, accounting for four of the total fatalities. However, the 473 non-fatal reported crashes among vulnerable road users frequently result in serious and life-changing injuries, keeping in mind that law enforcement agencies frequently fail to report crashes involving non-motorists. So, besides our elected representatives and transportation officials implementing Complete Streets with improvements such as reducing speed limits through redesign and road diets, what else must be done?

One way that communities become bike/ped-friendly is when a critical mass of people on foot, bike and other non-motorized means are part of traffic and become impossible to ignore. When that occurs drivers and non-motorists alike change behavior accordingly. Sanibel Island is probably the only local community that even comes close to reaching a critical mass that has actually created an environment much different than the rest of our county, hence they’ve earned silver-level Bike Friendly Community status.

A few other pockets of critical mass are in some of our cities’ downtown areas and beach communities. However, none of these places can truly be considered bike/ ped-friendly, at least based on the way drivers routinely fail to stop for folks in crosswalks, the fact that many pedestrians aren’t assertive in exercising their right to compel drivers to allow them to cross streets at crosswalks and the tendency of cyclists to ride against traffic and operate on sidewalks rather than roads, even where bike lanes exist.

Enforcement of traffic laws that put non-motorists at risk is another area that should be beefed up. In particular, speeding and failing to stop before making a right turn would be good violations on which to focus. Stopping cyclists who ride against traffic is another common violation that’s never addressed unless a crash has occurred. Also, law enforcement personnel should have a better understanding of laws that pertain to non-motorists because all too often motorists are wrongly let off the hook when they are involved in a crash with pedestrians and cyclists or the non-motorist is incorrectly deemed at fault. When this occurs, motorists continue to drive with the mindset that they rule the road and non-motorists realize they don’t really have the rights our laws provide them.

Of course, individual and societal responsibility are paramount. How often do we see signs posted in residential areas that remind motorists to “Drive Like Your Kids Live Here”? Why is this even necessary? There will always be a small percentage of bad actors but it should be socially unacceptable to operate a weapon (i.e., motor vehicle) that can kill in an instant in any way other than to treat it as such. Far too many of us operate as if we were sitting in our living room, paying little attention to the complex act of driving.

Obviously, it will take everyone to change our traffic environment reality. Let’s hope the latest report that re-confirms our severe problem will be taken seriously by everyone. For much more on this matter, look to

- Dan Moser is a long-time bicycle/pedestrian advocate and traffic safety professional who cycles, runs and walks regularly for transportation, recreation and fitness. Contact him at and 334-6417. 

For Lee County cycling and tri events visit Caloosa Riders Bicycle Club (; Florida Mudcutters (; and SW Florida Biking Meetup Group ( The Florida Bicycle Association ( is your source for statewide happenings. BikeWalkLee’s blog site has all the information you’ll need to stay abreast of advocacy efforts in Southwest Florida as well as statewide and nationally.

Tuesday, January 29, 2019

Action Alert: Attend Feb. 7th public hearing for Able Canal Pathway Project in Lehigh Acres

If you live, work, or play in Lehigh and support the proposed 5.5 mile pathway that will connect Lehigh Acres Trailhead Park, to the Lehigh Acres Community Park and the Harnes Marsh, allowing residents and visitors to bike or walk between these popular destinations, now is the time to make your voices heard. This FDOT-funded project has been in the study/planning phases since 2013, and is now at the stage of a public hearing prior to approval of the location of the pathway along the canal and its conceptual design.  This is your chance to review the proposal and share your views with FDOT, Lee County, and MPO staff.

  It's important that pathway supporters attend this public hearing to show their support for moving forward to implementation of this important project.

Read  BWL's March 2017 blog post for background on the project and BWL's April 2018 blog for background on the open house to review alternatives under consideration.

 FDOT Press Release:

The Florida Department of Transportation (FDOT), District One, invites you to attend a public hearing for the Able Canal Pathway from Harns Marsh to Joel Boulevard (CR 884) project in Lee County, Florida. 

Public hearing:
  • Date: Thursday, February 7, 2019
  • Time5 p.m. Open house
  •  6 p.m. Formal presentation and public comment period
  • LocationVeterans Park Recreation Center
  •  55 Homestead Road South
  •  Lehigh Acres, FL 33936
Location of Able Canal Corridor
The proposed improvements consist of constructing a new shared-use pathway along the north side of Able Canal where there is currently no continuous path. This public hearing is being conducted to give interested persons an opportunity to express their views concerning the location, conceptual design, and social, economic, and environmental effects of the proposed improvements.

Draft project documents will be available for public review from Thursday, January 17, 2019 to Monday, February 18, 2019 at the following locations: East County Regional Library, 881 Gunnery Road North, Lehigh Acres, FL 33971 and FDOT District One, Southwest Area Office, 10041 Daniels Parkway, Ft. Myers, FL 33913.

The environmental review, consultation, and other actions required by applicable federal environmental laws for this project are being, or have been, carried out by FDOT pursuant to 23 U.S.C. §327 and a Memorandum of Understanding dated December 14, 2016 and executed by the Federal Highway Administration and FDOT.

FDOT solicits public participation without regard to race, color, national origin, age, sex, religion, disability, or family status. People who require special accommodations under the Americans with Disabilities Act or who require translation services (free of charge) should contact Cynthia Sykes, District One Title VI Coordinator, at (863) 519-2287, or e-mail at at least seven days prior to the public meeting.

If you have questions about the project or scheduled public hearing, please contact Steven Andrews, Project Manager at (863) 519-2270 or by e-mail to at least seven days prior to the hearing. You can also visit the project website at

Monday, January 28, 2019

January 28: Upcoming running/walking/bicycling/tri events

Upcoming events

  • Saturday, Feb. 2: Strides for Education 5K run/walk. Proceeds from the 5K support the Take Stock in Children Scholarship Program. With the support of donors like you, over 600 Lee County Children have earned a life-changing scholarship. 7.30 a.m., Florida Southwestern State College, 8099 College Parkway, Fort Myers ( & 
  • Saturday, Feb. 2: Inaugural Running Water 5K. Join us for fun and fitness while becoming a catalyst for global change!  In partnership with New Missions Systems International, Running Water 5k is raising funds that will go directly to Lauren Trepanier’s clean water mission that benefits the Massai tribe in Narok, Kenya. 6.30 a.m., Jaycee Park, Cape coral ( 
  • Sunday, Feb. 3: Publix Run to the Arts 5K run/walk. So much more than any ordinary 5K, the Publix Run To The Arts brings together the best that life has to offer: health and fitness, arts and culture, friends and family, and the scenic beauty of the Fort Myers waterfront. 7.30 a.m., Downtown Fort Myers ( 
  • Saturday, Feb.9:Scout Strong 5K run/walk, Naples ( 
  • Saturday, Feb.9:Rotary's Run for the Rose Garden 5K, Cape Coral ( 
  • Sunday,Feb. 10: Edison Junior Races, downtown Fort Myers ( 
  • Saturday, Feb. 16: Edison 5K run/walk, downtown Fort Myers ( 
  • Sunday, Feb.17: Paradise Coast half marathon &5K, Naples ( 
  • Saturday, Feb. 23: Swamp Stomp 5K run/walk, Labelle ( 
  • Saturday, Feb. 23:Naples High School Golden Eagle Run, Naples (
  • Saturday, Feb. 23: Run the Lakes for Cypress Lake Middle 5K, Lakes Park, Fort Myers ( 
  • Saturday, March 2: City of Palms half marathon & 5K, Fort Myers (
  • Sunday, March 3: Lazy Flamingo half marathon and relay, Fort Myers (
  • For more running events visit;; and

  • Friday, Feb. 1: SW Florida Critical Mass ride. A family-friendly slow ride through Fort Myers gathering at 7:14 p.m. and starting at 8 p.m. Front and rear bike lights required. Grab your helmet, bring all your friends and meet in the open field next to Publix at First Street Village, 2160 McGregor Blvd. Fort Myers. (
  • Sunday, Feb. 3: Wakey, Wakey! Weekly Sunday Morning Ride. All levels, all bikes, leaves from Fort Myers Trek store at 7:30 a.m. on a different route each week (mostly on bike paths). The ride is sanctioned by the Caloosa Riders Bicycle Club, so helmets are required, no ear buds, and no aero bar use while in the group .(
  • Saturday, Feb. 9: Sanibel Critical Mass ride, gathers at 7:30 p.m. at Jerry’s Shopping Center, 1700 Periwinkle Way, on Sanibel. Lights required, helmets recommended. (
  • Sunday, Feb. 10: Wakey, Wakey! Weekly Sunday Morning Ride. All levels, all bikes, leaves from Fort Myers Trek store at 7:30 a.m. on a different route each week (mostly on bike paths). The ride is sanctioned by the Caloosa Riders Bicycle Club, so helmets are required, no ear buds, and no aero bar use while in the group. (
  • Ongoing: Join the Caloosa Riders Bicycle Club on one of their many weekly rides for members and potential members, with an array of paces and routes to choose from. Check them out online at
  • For more Lee County cycling and tri events, visit Caloosa Riders Bicycle Club (; Florida Mudcutters (; and SW Florida Biking Meetup Group (

  • Sunday, Feb.11: Tri Your Heart Out sprint, Sarasota (
  • Check to find regional and state tris.

Wednesday, January 23, 2019

News-Press: Nationwide dangerous roads study again places Florida first; Cape Coral, Fort Myers drops

Fort Myers New-Press, Jan. 23, 2019

Despite the reality of two pedestrian deaths in Lee County in the past eight days, a new study shows the Cape Coral-Fort Myers metropolitan area is no longer the deadliest spot for people traveling on foot or bike in Florida.

However, Florida once again is the deadliest state for pedestrians, according to the national 2019 Dangerous By Design study.

The Florida Highway Patrol said Alana Marie Tamplin, 12, was walking south on the edge of Durrance Road near Deal Road when she was hit by this vehicle Monday. (Photo: Special to The News-Press/FHP)

The Cape Coral-Fort Myers area's decline in standing does not necessarily mean the area is safer, said Emiko Atherton, executive director of the National Complete Streets Coalition.

"We don't look at actual causation," she said of the study, adding that it wasn't likely a case of Lee County getting better. "Our best guess is that some other places in Florida got worse."

The two most recent pedestrian deaths in Lee County could give pause to that assessment.

On the morning of Jan. 14, 12-year-old Alana Tamplin was hit and killed as she walked along Durrance Street near her North Fort Myers home. A few days later Pauline Griffiths, 70, of Ontario, Canada, was trying to cross the northbound lanes of 41 in North Fort Myers and was hit and killed by a motorcycle. The motorcyclist also died in the crash.
The mother of Alana, Sarah Tamplin, said another crash happened on Durrance in the past few days.

 "Someone hit a rider and his horse on our street. So my comment is that clearly dark or daylight doesn't make a difference," she said. "If you are behind the wheel, you need to pay attention. Get rid of the distractions because your single moment of inattention can cost someone their lives and no one deserves to lose a loved one in such a senseless tragedy."

The study, released Jan. 22 by the National Complete Streets Coalition, ranked 100 major metropolitan areas across the U.S. that are the worst for pedestrian safety based on population, pedestrian commuters and fatalities and based on statistics gathered from 2007 to 2018.

The coalition is made up of Smart Growth America, AARP and other organizations.

The study showed drivers hit and killed 49,340 pedestrians nationwide from 2007-18.

Joining Florida at the top of the list again was Alabama. The rest of the top 10 states — Delaware, Louisiana, Mississippi, Georgia, New Mexico, Texas, Arizona and South Carolina — stayed the same but many switched positions.

In Florida in the 2007-18 period there have been 5,433 pedestrian deaths. California had more deaths in that time frame but, with a larger population, that state had a lower pedestrian fatalities per 100,000 population percentage.

"I'm not surprised that Lee County retains a position among the worse 10 nationwide," said Dan Moser, BikeWalkLee steering committee member and traffic safety consultant. "From my perspective, since the release of the 2016 report, there's been little to no action to address the problems or even a sense of urgency among our elected and transportation officials or tourism, building, and real estate sector reps. Only advocates, first responders and those in the health care system have been waving red flags. Otherwise it's been road-building and development business-as-usual. I'd hope that this latest report will finally light a fire under those who can change things for the better."

Florida metropolitan areas ranked high in the nation's top 10. In order, the most dangerous areas were: Orlando-Kissimmee-Sanford, Deltona-Daytona Beach-Ormond Beach, Palm Bay-Melbourne-Titusville, North Port-Bradenton-Sarasota, Lakeland-Winter Haven, Jacksonville, Bakersfield, California; Cape Coral-Fort Myers, Tampa-St. Petersburg-Clearwater, and Jackson, Mississippi.

A previous study ranked the Cape Coral-Fort Myers metropolitan area as the deadliest in the nation for pedestrians. That report covered the 2005-14 period.

Don Scott, chair of the Metropolitan Planning Organization, said that Lee County recorded a positive in the past year with total traffic fatalities down, 93 compared to 113 in 2017.

"The negative is that pedestrian fatalities haven' changed," he said. There were 23 pedestrians deaths and four bicycle deaths in Lee County in 2018 compared to 18 and three in 2017.

Statewide, while overall traffic deaths dropped from 3,114 in 2017 to 3,004 in 2018, with pedestrian and bike deaths were up in that time. Pedestrian deaths rose from 658 to 668 and bicycle deaths went from 128 to 140.

"FHP encourages all motorists to drive sober, undistracted and with all occupants properly restrained," said Lt. Greg Bueno of the Florida Highway Patrol. "Motorists who follow all traffic laws, obey speed limits and operate in a courteous manner toward fellow drivers are always safer on the state’s highways. "

The report gave an expanded look at pedestrian safety patterns and examined how pedestrian fatalities disproportionately affected diverse communities and older people.

The report also presented data on pedestrian fatalities and injuries in every U.S. metro area included in the study, as well as state and county assessments and an online, interactive map showing the locations where pedestrian fatalities have occurred.

Among the solutions suggestion were better planning by state departments of transportation, more flexible federal guidelines for planners and engineers and higher federal funding priorities.

 Deadliest areas for pedestrians
 The report ranks the below metro areas for the top 20 highest (worst) “Pedestrian Danger Index” ratings:

1) Orlando-Kissimmee-Sanford, FL

2) Deltona-Daytona Beach-Ormond Beach, FL

3) Palm Bay-Melbourne-Titusville, FL

4) North Port-Sarasota-Bradenton, FL

5) Lakeland-Winter Haven, FL

6) Jacksonville, FL

7) Bakersfield, CA

8) Cape Coral-Fort Myers, FL

9) Tampa-St. Petersburg-Clearwater, FL

10) Jackson, MS

11) Memphis, TN-AR

12) Baton Rouge, LA

13) Birmingham-Hoover, AL

14) Miami-Fort Lauderdale-West Palm Beach, FL

15) Greenville-Anderson-Mauldin, SC

16) McAllen-Edinburg-Mission, TX

17) Albuquerque, NM

18) Detroit-Warren-Dearborn, MI

19) Little Rock-North Little Rock-Conway, AR

20) Augusta-Richmond County, GA-SC


Motorcyclist, pedestrian killed in crash on US 41 in North Fort Myers on Saturday
Lee County sees decline in traffic fatalities in 2018

 Fort Myers-area traffic deaths hit triple digits for second consecutive year

BikeWalkLee: What all cyclists, pedestrians should know

BikeWalkLee's Statement on the 2019 Dangerous by Design Report: Assessment of Efforts in Lee County to Improve Pedestrian Safety and Future Improvements Needed

BWL issued a statement today in response to the 2019 Dangerous by Design Report.This statement looks at the extent to which Lee County jurisdictions and agencies are implementing safety improvements and where future improvements are needed by each of the jurisdictions, agencies, and stakeholders. We hope that the 2019 Report lights a fire under all those who can improve pedestrian safety. This metro area (Lee County), along with the entire state of Florida, can and must do more to reduce the number of people who die while walking every day on our roadways.

Jan. 23, 2019

Statement by BikeWalkLee to the 2019 Dangerous by Design Report: Assessment of Efforts in Lee County to Improve Pedestrian Safety and Future Improvements Needed

The just released “Dangerous by Design” 2019 report shows that our nation’s streets aren’t getting safer for pedestrians. While traffic deaths among motor vehicle occupants over this 10-year period (2008-2017) decreased by 6.1%, pedestrian deaths increased by 35.4%.  Pedestrian deaths have been steadily rising since 2009, reaching 6,000 deaths annually in 2016 and 2017. As a result, pedestrians now account for a larger proportion of traffic fatalities than they have in the past 33 years. 

Similar trends are evident in Florida and Lee County. Florida continues to be the most dangerous state in the country for pedestrians, with eight of the top 10 most dangerous metro areas in the country.  While the Cape Coral/Fort Myers metro area (Lee County) was ranked the worst in the country in the 2016 report, this year our area ranks the eighth worst in the country.  Although Lee County’s Pedestrian Danger Index (PDI) went down somewhat in real terms, our lower ranking compared to the 2016 report was primarily because other metro areas’ PDIs (all in Florida) had significant increases.

Efforts to make streets and roads safer have been underway statewide and in the various Florida metro areas, including Lee County, for almost a decade, but much work remains to be done, as under scored by this report. These results prove that desires and designs alone won’t make our streets safer – it takes the will to implement those designs and to back up those desires with the funds to make them a reality.
All Lee County jurisdictions and agencies can collectively either move forward to make our infrastructure safer for bikers and walkers, or accept higher pedestrian and cyclist death rates. More citizens are moving here.  Before long, new and old residents alike will begin to realize their quality of life is slipping because sufficient investments have not been made to make our roadways safer for everyone.  Now is the time to embrace change by funding a safer future. 
Why it matters
A chronic culture of danger for area walkers and cyclists threatens not only residents and visitors; it undercuts our economy; threatens our ability to attract and retain businesses, workers, and families to live and work here; undermines our tourism marketing; and underlines a growing safety gap driven by socioeconomic conditions and geographic patterns. 
However, investments in “Complete Streets” designs (road designs that take into account the needs and safety of ALL roadway users including cyclists and pedestrians) and bike/ped safety countermeasures not only make our streets safer for all users (including motorists), they make good economic sense.  Today, more and more people want to live and work in walkable communities, yet Lee County lags far behind in offering them. Research proves that sidewalks and shared use paths increase the value of homes in those neighborhoods. Bottom line: Investing in and maintaining walkable communities is a win/win strategy.
It is also important to understand that Complete Streets is not just about adding more sidewalks, shared use paths, and bike lanes.  It’s about making a paradigm shift—one that integrates land use and transportation planning, and changes the way we plan and design all our roads so that they’re safer for everyone, including pedestrians and cyclists. 
Proven pedestrian/bicycle safety steps
While expanding and connecting bike/ped infrastructure is an important component in making a community safer for walking and biking, many other roadway design and safety features are important for improving safety.
The most significant danger for pedestrians and cyclists is the speed of vehicles on the road, with the speed often determining whether the vulnerable road users is injured (and how seriously) or killed in any crashes with motor vehicles.  Thus, many safety countermeasures aim to reduce vehicle speed.**
The following sections of this report look at the extent to which Lee County jurisdictions and agencies are implementing safety improvements and future improvements needed. [Click here to read the rest of the BWL's Statement.]
The “Dangerous by Design” 2019 report, released by Smart Growth America on Jan. 23, is the fifth edition of the national bi-annual pedestrian safety report which ranks states and the 100 most populous metropolitan areas around the country based on how deadly they are for people walking.* [Link to 2019 Dangerous by Design Report]

*The report uses traffic deaths for the 10-year period of 2008-2017, and looks at how deadly it is for people to walk based on the number of people struck and killed by drivers while walking, controlling for the number of residents and the number of people that walk to work.

* *The Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) has identified 20 proven safety countermeasures that offer significant and measurable impacts to improving roadway safety, several of which are specifically targeted to safety for pedestrians and cyclists. (Source:
FHWA: Making our Roads Safer One Countermeasure at a Time (2018)

Some of the most important FHWA proven safety measures for reducing the number of fatal and serious injury crashes for pedestrians and cyclists are roundabouts, road diets, medians and pedestrian crossing islands, leading pedestrian intervals, and pedestrian hybrid beacons. The Governors Highway Safety Association (GHSA) adds automated speed enforcement/red light cameras, and reducing speed limits on local roads (along with speed bumps) to this list. [
GHSA report: Speeding Away from Zero: Rethinking a Forgotten Traffic Safety Challenge, Jan. 2019.] 

2019 Dangerous by Design Report, with data on state rankings and the 100 largest metro areas rankings, along with other resources and an interactive map of 10 years of pedestrian fatalities.


2019 "Dangerous by Design" national pedestrian safety report released

Every two years the National Complete Streets Coalition/Smart Growth America issues a report on pedestrian safety that ranks states and metro areas around the country, based on how deadly they are for people walking. The 2019 report was released today, and shows that our streets aren't getting safer.  In the past decade, the number of people struck and killed while walking increased by 35 percent.  So long as streets are built to prioritize high speeds at the cost of safety, pedestrian fatalities will remain a problem. 
In the 2016 report, Florida was ranked the most dangerous state in the country for pedestrians, with 8 of the 10 most dangerous metro areas in the country located in FL, with Lee County ranked as #1. 

This year's report once again finds FL as the worst in the country, with 8 of the 10 most dangerous metro areas again in the state.  While Lee County continued to be in the top 10, it moved from #1 to #8 worst in the country.

BikeWalkLee's statement re: the 2019 report will be posted later today, so check back on the BWL blog later today.

 2019 Dangerous by Design Report
Click here for the full 2019 Dangerous by Design Report (with data on state rankings and the 100 largest metro areas rankings), along with other resources and an interactive map of 10 years of pedestrian fatalities.

Below are several graphics that highlight some of the key findings:

WEBINAR Announcement:
To learn more about the report and to ask questions, join a public webinar tomorrow, Thursday, Jan. 24th at 2:30 p.m., hosted by the National Complete Streets Coalition.  Click here to sign up.

Pedestrian fatalities have been on the rise over the last decade with nearly 6,000 people killed while walking in 2017. However, the risk of being hit and killed is not the same in every place, and that risk is increasing more in some communities than others.
The National Complete Streets Coalition will release Dangerous by Design 2019 on January 23, 2019, ranking each state and the 100 most populous metro areas based on how deadly they are for people walking. In this webinar, we'll explore the results in the report and speak with experts about what can be done to make walking safer and save lives.
Dangerous by Design 2019 creates a "Pedestrian Danger Index" (PDI) for each metro area and state using the most recent federal data on pedestrian fatalities from the Fatality Analysis Reporting System. The PDI is based on the number of people struck and killed by drivers between 2008 and 2017 while walking, controlling for the number of residents and the number of people that walk to work.
About the presenters:

Emiko Atherton
Director, National Complete Streets Coalition

DeAnza Valencia
Advocacy Representative, AARP New Mexico

Nedra Deadwyler
Founder, Civil Bikes

Billy Hattaway
Director of Transportation, City of Orlando, Florida


Please register for this meeting.

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