South Florida has been ranked as the fourth most dangerous metropolitan area for pedestrians, according to a recent report by the National Complete Streets Coalition and Smart Growth America.
The study, outlined in The Miami Herald, warns:
South Florida is the nation’s fourth-most-dangerous metropolitan area for pedestrians, according to a report issued Tuesday, with people on foot being run down by motor vehicles at almost triple the average rate for the rest of America.
And around the rest of the state, the numbers look even more dismal, according to the report. The three U.S. cities with worse records than the Miami-Fort Lauderdale-Pompano Beach axis: Jacksonville, Tampa-St. Petersburg and Orlando, in ascending order of infamy.
State officials were not inclined to argue with the grim portrayal of Florida’s pedestrian safety, or lack of it. “They have some very valid points,” conceded Billy Hattaway, point man for the Florida Department of Transportation’s efforts to make streets safer for foot traffic. “We have some real problems.”
The report, Dangerous by Design 2014, was issued by a pair of urban-redesign activist groups, the National Complete Streets Coalition and Smart Growth America. It gives the United States in general low marks for pedestrian safety.
More than 47,000 pedestrians died in traffic accidents from 2003 to 2012, the report notes, “sixteen times the number of Americans who died in natural diasters — earthquakes, flood, hurricanes and tornadoes” during the same period.
Using a measure it calls the Pedestrian Danger Index — a computation of the likelihood of someone on foot being killed by a passing vehicle, using data on traffic fatalities and the number of people who walk to work — the report placed South Florida at nearly the bottom of the barrel.
The national average for the Pedestrian Danger Index is 52.2. South Florida’s score was 145.33. The raw numbers on which the index was based didn’t look much better. The only places that recorded a higher number than South Florida’s 1,539 pedestrian fatalities over the past decade were the much-larger New York and Los Angeles metropolitan areas.
(Full study available at Dangerous by Design 2014)
Advocates for cyclist and pedestrian rights and personal injury attorneys The Murray Law Firm work tirelessly to protect victims and families of pedestrian and cycling accidents throughout Florida. On behalf of our many clients who have been injured or lost loved ones to pedestrian tragedies, we remind all south Florida drivers to stay alert and avoid distractions on our roadway.