Florida most dangerous state for pedestrians

Mon Nov 9, 2009 12:54pm EST
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By Patricia Reaney

NEW YORK (Reuters Life!) - Florida, with four of the five most treacherous metropolitan areas for walking, is the most dangerous state in the United States for pedestrians.

Orlando, Tampa, Miami, and Jacksonville and their surrounding areas were the top four hazardous cities for walkers in the Pedestrian Danger Index, which is used to assess the risk of walking in urban areas, followed by Memphis, Tennessee.

Nine of the top 10 cities, which included Raleigh, North Carolina, Louisville in Kentucky, Houston, Texas, Birmingham in Alabama and Atlanta, are in the southern United States.

"These areas are dominated by lower density and automobile-orientated development patterns, which include high-speed urban arterials that are particularly hazardous for walking," according to the report by Transportation for America, (T4), a coalition of organizations focused on transportation problems.

More than 9,000 pedestrians were killed in collisions with cars and trucks in 2007 and 2008, and 70,000 more were injured, according to the latest statistics from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration.

More than 700 pedestrians killed during the same period were 15-years or younger.

"Safety for pedestrians has not advanced a greal deal," said Anne Camby, the executive director of the Surface Transportation Policy Partnership, a coalition working to ensure safer roads.

"In the metro areas where walking is most hazardous the design of those communities came about mostly after the Second World War and were auto-orientated in their design and pedestrians and bicyclists were not considered with any great attention," she added in a conference call about the report.   Continued...

<p>Traffic slows down along Biscayne Boulevard in Miami, Florida February 26, 2008. REUTERS/Eric Thayer</p>