Pittsburgh one of safest cities for pedestrians
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A report issued today rates Pittsburgh as one of America's safest metropolitan areas for walking, even as it paints a gloomy picture of pedestrian safety nationwide.
Pittsburgh was the 49th most dangerous among 52 U.S. metro areas in a study of pedestrian fatalities occurring from 2000 to 2009, according to the report, issued by Transportation for America, a coalition of interest groups that favors progressive transportation policies.
The four most dangerous metro areas for walking all were in Florida: Orlando, Tampa-St. Petersburg, Jacksonville and Miami-Fort Lauderdale, according to the report.
The report said "decades-long neglect of pedestrian safety in the design and use of American streets is exacting a heavy toll" -- 47,700 pedestrians killed from 2000 to 2009, the equivalent of a jumbo jet full of passengers crashing about every month.
"Despite the magnitude of these avoidable tragedies, little public attention -- and even less in public resources -- has been committed to reducing pedestrian deaths and injuries in the United States," the report said.
It urged Congress to adopt a national complete streets policy that designs roads with all users in mind, not just drivers. It noted that some in Congress are calling for eliminating dedicated funding for biking and walking projects, including the federal Safe Routes to School program.
The Pittsburgh metro area achieved the same ranking, 49th most dangerous of 52, in a previous study by the organization released in 2009 for the two previous years.
Pennsylvania ranked 33rd among states and the District of Columbia for pedestrian danger. Florida, South Carolina and Louisiana had the highest Pedestrian Danger Indexes, calculated using fatality data and census information about the percentage of people in a given area who walk to work. The authors said their method, while not infallible, accounts for differences in the numbers of pedestrians in various metro areas.
First Published May 24, 2011 10:58 am