Here’s a fun statistic covering the past decade of people simply trying to walk somewhere in this no-crosswalk no-sidewalk nation of drive-thrus and six-lane suburban expressways: 47,700 pedestrians killed and another 688,000 pedestrians wounded when they were struck by cars for the sin of trying to walk somewhere in this country. The four worst metropolitan areas, when it comes to being killed while trying to walk somewhere, are all in Florida.
“Millions of Americans live in communities without safe places to walk,” Streetsblog writes about a new Transportation for America study. “And so they either don’t walk, adding to traffic congestion with every trip, or they do walk, risking joining the ranks of the 47,700 pedestrians killed and 688,000 injured in crashes with automobiles in the last decade.”
You know who is probably to blame for this? Osama bin Laden. Wasn’t he an infrastructure guy? Roads and such? Well, he did this. So that means America is now free to correct this problem and build sidewalks and traffic circles and crosswalks and pedestrian signals and cafes, because it is to Defeat Bin Laden.
“All too often, the consequences of this lack of basic infrastructure are fatal,” the authors note. “Of the 40,037 pedestrian fatalities for which the location of the collision was known, more than 40 percent were killed where no crosswalk was available.”
People with few transportation options are especially vulnerable. Low-income people and people of color are disproportionately victims of traffic fatalities while on foot. Children too young to drive are also at risk: “Pedestrian injury is the third leading cause of death by unintentional injury for children 15 and younger, according to CDC mortality data,” Ernst writes. “Nearly 3,900 children 15 years and younger were killed while walking from 2000 through 2007, representing between 25 and 30 percent of all traffic deaths.” Seniors are nearly twice as likely to be killed while walking as people under 65, the report goes on to say.