The nonprofit group Transportation for America is once again showing the fallout of road design that has for decades accommodated motor vehicles and not pedestrians. The bottom line numbers – from 2000 to 2009, 47,700 pedestrians died on U.S. roads. As the group likes to point out, that is about equal to a jumbo jet full of passengers crashing every month.
These are avoidable tragedies.
Add to the numbers more than 688,000 pedestrians injured during that time, roughly equal to a pedestrian struck by a motorist every seven minutes.
When it comes to funding roads that are more pedestrian-friendly, the budgets usually are not there. That’s why nationwide pedestrian fatalities make up nearly 12 percent of traffic deaths. Compare the U.S. to Europe where many cities cordon off a usable bicycle and pedestrian path that is separated from traffic by huge concrete barriers.