A study by the Surface Transportation Policy Partnership (who?) has ranked the Raleigh-Cary area as the 6th most dangerous metropolitan for pedestrians. Our area also has the 6th highest number of annual pedestrian deaths per 100,000 residents at 2.02. Only 1.6% of the workers in our region walk to work and our government ranks 30th in pedestrian spending.
The study points out that a large percentage of the highest ranked cities are located in the South. This isn’t a surprise as most Southern cities lack solid public transportation and rely heavily on automobiles and highways for transit.
Thoroughfares such as Dawson, McDowell and Person Streets contribute greatly to the danger of pedestrians in the downtown grid. Try walking across these streets at rush hour (or many other hours of the day) without starting to sprint halfway across. As downtown booms, more attention needs to be spent on the pedestrian and the biker, including more bike lanes and better crosswalk conditions in many locations.
This is a telling quote: “the 52 largest metro areas (over 1 million population) averaged annual investment of federal funds on bicycle and pedestrian projects of just $1.39 per person.” I wonder what the price per person spent on highways is? I’m sure it’s a bit higher.
Full list of the 52 most dangerous cities for pedestrians.