Monday, February 6, 2012

The deadly streets of Charlotte

Charlotte is the 17th most dangerous city for pedestrians out of 52 U.S. metro areas with more than 1 million people, a new report says.

Two hundred and eight pedestrians were killed in the Charlotte metro area in the decade from 2000-2009, according to the report from Transportation for America. Seventeen percent of all traffic deaths in Mecklenburg County were pedestrians, the report said.

The Raleigh metro area ranked 13th. The top four most dangerous cities for pedestrians were all in Florida. Raleigh and Charlotte were ranked more dangerous than Los Angeles (#27), Denver (#29), Washington, D.C. (#34) and New York (#50), among others.

Pedestrian safety grabbed headlines in Charlotte last month after two people were hit in two days, and one killed, at the intersection of Stonewall and College streets uptown. Transportation for America argues, rightly, that pedestrian safety is way down on the priority list for most government transportation planners. In 15 of the country's largest metro areas, pedestrian deaths have been going up even as the number of motorists' deaths has been falling thanks to campaigns on seat belts, child seats, drunk driving, texting while driving and other initiatives.

Transportation for America is a policy organization that backs public transit, biking, walking and environmentalism. You can read its full report, "Dangerous by Design," on a PDF here.

-- Taylor Batten


Rob said...

This seems less like an O-pinion and more like a fact.

Wiley Coyote said...

and...according to FBI Crime Statistics, even though there are more of us, the crime rate has fallen sharply.

So what's with all the "statistics"?

Would the statistics show a relationship between more pedestrians downtown versus accidents?

Report just the deaths without the other facts as to increase in vehicles and pedestrian traffic overall.

I think Mark Twain could explain it:

“In the space of 176 years the Lower Mississippi has shortened itself 242 miles. Therefore… in the Old Silurian Period, the Mississippi River was upward of one million three hundred thousand miles long and … 742 years from now the Lower Mississippi will be only a mile and three-quarters long…. There is something fascinating about science. One gets such wholesome returns of conjecture out of such a trifling investment of fact.”

Skippy said...

"Rightly" Transportation for America is a liberal group that opposes freedom to live in the suburbs, demands high density living, hates the evil combustion engine, that would be cars for you liberals, supports the radical Agenda 21 being forced by the UN, hates roads and wants everyone to ride a bikey to work of course to save the planet.

Anonymous said...
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CRH said...

It's amazing how thoughtless some comments are and how paranoid conservatives are with their 'Agenda 21' conspiracy theories. Clearly, this city could learn a lot about protecting and promoting pedestrians - which is not only good for the environment but also good for our health. What is amazing is that there is so much resistance to such common sense initiatives. And it is also sad that we don't have any leaders in Charlotte bold and progressive enough to actually tackle the problems our residents have to deal with.

Anonymous said...

Seriously? A couple hundred people in 10 years? How many people in Charlotte died from heart disease in that period of time? Forget this statistic but by all means walk, jog, or run. You will be better off.

Jojo said...

I would love to walk my 2nd grader to & from school each day but can't because there is no sidewalk leading from my neighborhood to the school & it's too dangerous to walk on the side of the road. Instead, he rides the bus for a ridiculously short distance.

I'm amazed at the lack of sidewalks & crosswalks at traffic lights. It's no wonder why so many people jaywalk. Why would they not have crosswalks at all traffic lights when they are next to businesses & crosswalks in front of schools?

I lived in So Cal & we are higher in deaths than LA because LA has plenty of crosswalks & sidewalks. everywhere.

Manos73 said...

I lived downtown for several years and tried to get a light installed for pedestrian safety at an intersection. The city refused on the grounds that it would impact rush hour traffic.

But most of the rush hour traffic are people that don't actually live in the city.

Gauthier said...

Here is the actual study where skeptics can study the methodology:

Bill said...

JoJo's comments are spot on! This city sucks when it comes to sidewalks and creating wider shoulders on roads. We live just 2 miles from a major shopping area, but always drive because we fear for our lives walking for biking.

Veronica said...

It's an attitude rather than an engineering question.

We have roughly the same amount of sidewalk as any other southern city (in other words not much). Our roads are not significantly different than other cities either.

But we have an arrogance few can match. It doesn't surprise one in the least that we run more people over.

Gauthier said...

"same amount of sidewalk as any other SOUTHERN city" Notice how most of the the worst cities for pedestrians are in the south. Don't think being the same as any other southern city is something to be proud of with respect to pedestrian safety.