The 10 most dangerous US cities for pedestrians, and the 10 most safe


#1

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#2

1500+ dead pedestrians in nine years in the Miami to Pompano sprawl? Holy indifference to casualties batman!


#3

It's interesting that they take into account the (estimated) percentage of people commuting by foot rather than just basing it on deaths per population in their danger level. Than being said, I'm surprised that San Diego is near the middle of the pack -- I would have thought it to be more dangerous both on personal experience with drivers ignoring crosswalks and the fact that hit and runs have killed a student a couple months ago and a professor just last week.


#4

If you think that's bad, you should check out the Miami PD.


#5

From my one visit to Florida when I was a teenager I am not at all surprised that Florida cities rank the highest. Got sent to the store for something. There were no sidewalks and in fact almost got hit once on my way there.


#6

I work in Newark. Are they considering how many pedestrians get murdered in these stats?


#7

Having been to the city a number of time, it surprises me not at all that Orlando ranks number one.

It isn't a city so much as a sprawling mass of roads connecting a disorganized jumble of various places. The only sidewalks are those installed by Disney or Universal. The expectation is that you are supposed to drive everywhere outside of the theme parks, even simply to cross the street.

That mentality actually permeates most of Florida. You can't get ANYWHERE on foot. Everything is just spread out in every direction, and nothing is conveniently located. Not even the absurdly wealthy areas are intelligently designed - in fact, such enclaves tend to crop up on the outskirts of existing towns and cities, then start carving up the local landscape by building roadways to service them literally on top of and through the middle of the older parts of town.


#8

I wonder if Seattle is so safe because we're insanely cautious while crossing the street. You can tell the tourists because they jaywalk.


#9

Honestly I think the recent spike in pedestrian accidents in SF at least is due to pedestrians being distracted by their phones.


#10

On a visit to Munich, we concluded that if Munich had been the divided capital of East and West Germany, there would have been no need for a Munich Wall - they could have just built a street without crosswalks, and Munichers would have been forever cut off from one another.


#11

Called it. Lived there many years. Lost a grandmother to the streets. You'd be hard pressed to make it worse than it is. You nailed it on the expectation to drive. I used to joke about how we would pile into the car just to cross the mall parking lot. But to walk from A to B is borderline insane.


#12

We are visiting Seattle and have been noticing this. Is this a situation where police have been giving out a lot of jaywalking tickets, or is that just the Scandanavian legacy of niceness?


#13

Seattle is just like that for unknown reasons. Drivers there also tend to be relatively polite to other cars (there are still quite a few cars who don't look for/seem to want to hit pedestrians though).

However, if you want a scary street crossing try Bangkok.


#14

Phoenix metro would almost certainly be higher on the list but for the fact that between climate and sprawl there is so little pedestrian traffic to begin with.


#15

I haven't been to Seattle, but I've been to other west-coast cities and I think their city planners just do a better job with managing the intersection lights.

New York City's lights are pretty good, but they're on a timer and some are pretty long. Because of how the lights can chain together, there can be long gaps of no cars even though the light says "don't walk." Since there's tons of people at the corners and no cars, people jaywalk.

When I've been to California, the lights are on much quicker cycles and are more pedestrian friendly. Whenever I've drive out there, I found myself thinking "Ah crap, I just missed the light." And then it changes, and I'm on my way. It probably ends up keeping the general speed down as people try not to speed through intersections, and pedestrians know that if they just wait at the light for a few seconds, they'll be able to cross.

I lived in Baltimore for a while and there were some notorious lights that would last for minutes across an otherwise dead intersection. People jaywalked like crazy because waiting at the intersection was a great way to waste 3-4 minutes.

Sure enough, a quick search shows that Seattle has been focusing for about 10 years now on signal optimization: http://www.seattle.gov/transportation/signaloptimization.htm


#16
Chicago-Napierville*-Joliet, Illinois (including parts of Indiana and Wisconsin)

WTH? They've put one of the most populous cities, a well-to-do recently-built suburb with few sidewalks, a mid-sized well-established town, and rural areas all in the same bundle?

Makes me wonder how informative their findings are in general.

  • It's actually Naperville

#17

My view is that pedestrians in SF live in a bubble; they tend to march right into the street without even checking traffic, like cows in India.

Coming here from NYC, my wife and I were shocked at the difference.


#18

Interesting, I jaywalked all the time when I lived in Seattle ('86-95'). Have things changed that much?


#19

People in Boston jay walk all the time and I think that is why it is safe. Because people know to look both ways before crossing. This carries over to even when we are crossing the street "properly". We (at least I) don't assume that I can casually stroll into the street without verifying there isn't a car about to hit me. Enforcing jay walking rules just makes people passive and not responsible for their own safety.


#20

I lived there in that same time frame (approx.) and the very first thing I noticed that there wouldn't be a car in sight for blocks either direction and the folks would dutifully wait for that walk signal. Pathetic is what I'd call it.

(The second thing I noticed was how bad the drivers were - but that is a different subject.)