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The Daily Need

Dangerous by design

A new study conducted by the transportation advocacy group, Transportation for America, finds that crossing the road in many parts of the country can be, well, deadly. Between 2002 and 2009, more than 47,000 people were killed and 688,000 were injured while walking on American roads. Children, the elderly and the poor are more likely to be killed than other groups, the study said.

To see what they’re talking about, take a look at this Blueprint America report (and below) showing just how dangerous it is to cross the Buford Highway, a major thoroughfare outside of Atlanta, Ga. Buford is the poster child for the kind of multilane highway, lined with stripmalls and suburban housing tracts, originally built with cars — not pedestrians — in mind. It’s frightening to see how risky it is for pedestrians to get from one side of it to the other.

Of course there are thousands of roads just like Buford Highway across the country. The new report comes with a listing of the 10 most dangerous urban areas to be on foot (greater Orlando takes the prize as the most hazardous city to walk in) and with an interactive map, showing where fatalities are most likely to occur. It also comes with a plea to some cost-cutting members of Congress currently drafting federal transportation legislation: Don’t eliminate the relatively meager funding for sidewalk building and other measures to protect pedestrians and bikers from cars.

And safer roads may not just be a public safety issue. As Americans get fatter (check out this latest study linking obesity and car culture), the public health community increasingly advises that we leave our cars behind and get out for more healthy walks and bike trips.

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  • Jason Slupski

    Proving once again we’re still not much more than a bunch of Talking Monkeys.

  • y@

    It appears they’re crossing in the middle of the block, so to speak – sorry, but cross at a light…

  • Pchov

    It appears you have completely missed the point of the article…

  • Klymllr

    Discouraging walking.. buy more oil… Surprised that pedestrian safety is what congress cuts?

  • Anonymous

    By chance, did you hear the part where it was mentioned that lights are often spaced A MILE apart? I agree with you about crosswalks. Obviously more are needed.

  • Chango

    hhaahaha uh duh not when it’s a highway and not when the next light/cross walk is a mile away and you just need to go across the street!

  • Aaron Lawless

    That’s because GM lobbied the American government to change the fucking landscape of the country so it would not be as feasible for you to walk instead of drive.

  • Dan-o

    Funny how the Chairman of the House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee, John Mica of the Orlando area, has proposed cutting funds for sidewalks and other pedestrian programs.

  • David Josselyn

    Well, it’s just a simple matter of priorities, then. What’s more important– a mile walk, or your life? People make the appropriate choice, and, apparently, accept the consequences. I feel worse for the drivers who are the unwitting delivery method for those consequences.

  • Linda Walcroft

    Crossing at a light can be even more dangerous than crossing between lights because of cars speeding around corners! You can’t see them coming until they are on top of you.

  • mike

     is the point of the article that stupidity kills?  cross at a cross walk AND when the walk sign is lit.  Dont just run across when it says dont walk. Thats what crosswalks and lights are for. If you try to cross a multi-lane highway on your own then well you are just an idiot.
    Also if the crosswalks are a mile apart then you should only have to walk a half mile at most

  • PhillyStyle

    Build a bridge and get over it.

  • Nicole

    so, I work a minimum wage job, have to walk five miles to get to the intersection each day. I’m not about to add another mile to my journey.

    There are several solutions- bridges, pedestrian tunnels, crosswalk with stop light located at least every third mile or so, etc, etc. why is it car drivers get priority over pedestrians and bike riders? If anything people who use human power to get where they’re going are more responsible than the car drivers

  • Anonymous

    Your math is a bit faulty. If you’re in the middle of a mile long block and need to get directly across the street, you walk a half mile to the cross walk and a half mile back from the cross walk. That’s one mile. At the rate most people walk, that means you’ve taken a good 15 minutes to get 30 seconds away and that’s if you don’t have to wait for the light to change when you finally get to the crosswalk! Then you do it all over again when you return from wherever it is you were going. I don’t know about you, but I don’t have an extra half hour to spend crossing streets every day.

  • Jon Dewitt

    How do we pay for it?

  • Asd

    They pay for it using my 6000+G I pay a year in property taxes!! THAT’S how!!

  • Shaniqua

    Forget this… Fix the traffic issue first in Gwinnett county and then work this. Seems more people are driving it now instead of walking. It’s a highway made for cars!! It’s not a walking path. O and parents, have your kids take the bus!! You are causing most of the traffic. Save on time,gas and wear and tear on your car.

  • Evelyn Mango

    Well what is the bus stops at the opposite side to your home so how the hell are you going to cross?