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High Risk of Pedestrian Injury in Atlanta

According to a report from Transportation for America, Atlanta ranks as one of the top 10 most dangerous cities for pedestrians. Atlanta comes in at number 10.

Here is the full list of the Top 10 Most Dangerous Cities for Pedestrians:

1. Orlando – Kissimmee, FL
2. Tampa – St. Petersburg-Clearwater, FL
3. Miami – Fort Lauderdale-Pompano Beach, FL
4. Jacksonville, FL
5. Memphis, TN
6. Raleigh – Cary, NC
7. Louisville/Jefferson County, KY-IN
8. Houston – Sugar Land – Baytown, TX
9. Birmingham – Hoover, AL
10. Atlanta – Sandy Springs – Marietta, GA

The above list is based on the Pedestrian Danger Index (PDI), developed by researchers at the Surface Transportation Policy Partnership. The full report, titled “Dangerous by Design: Solving the Epidemic of Preventable Pedestrian Deaths (and Making Great Neighborhoods),” reveals that more than 76,000 Americans have been killed while crossing or walking along a street in the last 15 years. In this decade alone, more than 43,000 Americans have been killed. That’s the equivalent of a jumbo jet going down each month.

Pedestrians account for 11.8 percent of all traffic fatalities. Children, minorities, and the elderly are at increased risk of pedestrian injury and death. The report states that an overwhelming proportion of pedestrian accidents occurred because the roadways were dangerous by design. In other words, they were not designed with pedestrian traffic in mind.

Transportation for America offers the following suggestions for preventing pedestrian deaths and promoting health with safer design:

Traffic calming and street design. Traffic calming includes a host of engineering techniques used to physically alter road design for the purpose of slowing traffic and improving safety for bicyclists and pedestrians. Beyond simply installing sidewalks, these improvements enhance safety through a focus on intersections with features such as pedestrian refuge medians, better road geometry, and signals that give pedestrians a “head start” when crossing roads. Depending on the type of measure implemented and speed reductions achieved, traffic calming has reduced collisions by 20 to 70 percent.

Complete streets. Where traffic calming seeks to improve safety by reducing traffic speeds, Complete Streets policies ensure that future road projects consistently take into account the needs of all users, of all ages and abilities, particularly pedestrians and bicyclists. Complete Streets designs vary from place to place, but they might feature sidewalks, bicycle paths, comfortable bus stops, median islands, frequent crosswalks and pedestrian signals. Both the American Academy of Pediatrics and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recently endorsed the adoption of local and statewide Complete Streets policies as a strategy for improving safety and increasing physical activity among children and adults.

Safe Routes to School programs. Safe Routes to School programs take a comprehensive approach to improving safety around schools for children walking and bicycling. The program funds engineering upgrades like sidewalks and crosswalks, improved traffic enforcement and bicycle and pedestrian safety education. The intent is to address parental concerns about traffic dangers and get more children walking and bicycling to school, which improves their physical fitness and health. From a handful of pilot efforts across the country, Safe Routes to School has grown into a federally-funded program providing more than $600 million over five years for thousands of projects nationwide.

Walkable neighborhoods. Walkable communities are safe and inviting for walking and bicycling, while also featuring compact development and a variety of destinations, such as parks and public space and nearby schools, workplaces and other amenities like restaurants and retail facilities. The tools to increase community livability by improving walkability go beyond investing in pedestrian infrastructure, giving residents and visitors convenient destinations they can walk to.

If you or a loved one have been injured or killed in a pedestrian accident, contact an experienced Atlanta personal injury attorney immediately to learn about your legal rights. Call MLN Law at 404-531-9700 to schedule your free consultation.