Monday, June 9, 2014

Charlotte ranked 10th most dangerous city for pedestrians

A recently released study ranks Charlotte as the tenth most dangerous city for pedestrians. The report, "Dangerous by Design 2014," ranked cities according to how likely a pedestrian is to get hit by a vehicle. Compiled by Smart Growth America, a national nonprofit dedicated to fighting suburban sprawl, the report studied city-by-city deaths and numbers of pedestrian commuters to come up with an overall "pedestrian danger index."

The report ranked Charlotte just below the Phoenix area and just above Detroit. The Raleigh area ranked 16th of the 51 cities studied. The study said Charlotte had 254 pedestrian deaths from 2003-2012. About 14 percent of traffic deaths during that time involved pedestrians. From 2008-2012, the Queen City had an annual pedestrian death rate of 1.65 per 100,000 people.

Shannon Binns, head of Sustain Charlotte, a local nonprofit fighting suburban sprawl, said the report shows the city has much work to do to make pedestrians safer. He also pointed to the Observer's story over the weekend on pedestrian safety questions in rapidly developing South End.

The Smart Growth America report "highlights the serious danger to Charlotteans of poor street design and lack of infrastructure for pedestrians and cyclists," Binns said. "It should serve as a wake-up call for accelerating what the city is already doing to improve the safety of our streets for all who use them, not just those who drive."

Another study, released late last year, showed Charlotte ranked dead last among big cities for walkability. The Walk Score ranking system, which studies nearly 3,000 cities in the U.S., Canada and Australia, found that out of the 74 U.S. cities with populations of 250,000 or more, Charlotte ranked 74th.


Read more here: http://obsdailyviews.blogspot.com/2013/11/the-nations-worst-big-city-for-walking.html#storylink=cpy


8 comments:

James Edgar said...

I know some people are going to comment here about all the jaywalking that goes on, especially with that South End growth story that had several photos of jaywalkers trying to navigate South Blvd. Yes, a lot of people do it and they shouldn't if they don't have to. But as someone who is unable to drive and thus is a pedestrian a lot, drivers in this city not only do not respect pedestrians, they often display genuine contempt for them. Way too many people drive as if they have the attitude that being behind the wheel of a motor vehicle makes you a superior life form to anyone who isn't. There are many miles of road with sidewalks in disrepair and/or no planting strip, or no sidewalks at all. It's dangerous out there, even when you are staying in crosswalks.

And since the South End article was mentioned, let me throw this in. City planners may want everyone to give up their single-family house and move into high-density buildings, but that's never really going to happen as long as 1) Developers continue to build buildings with absolutely no sound-proofing (no one wants to hear the sex or domestic violence going on in the unit next to or above them), and as long as the city recycling program is only available to single-family houses (since only single-family houses get a recycle bin). Classic talking out of both sides of the mouth.

Anonymous said...

Plain and simple - headphones on joggers and bicyclist

Anonymous said...

Plain and simple - HEADPHONES - on both joggers, walkers, and bicyclists

Anonymous said...

I understand that pedestrians sometimes would have to walk a 1/4 or 1/2 mile along a main corridor to get to a crosswalk so I understand jaywalking. What I have a problem with are the jaywalkers (excluding elderly)that refuse to pick up the pace as traffic approaches and practically dare a car to hit them.

Anonymous said...

This doesn't surprise me at all. Notice the number of pedestrians that cross in the middle of the street, even if a cross walk is near by. It boils down to LAZY pedestrians that refuse to follow common sense. I am sick to death of these idiots who expect the world to stop for them - we will if you are in a cross walk. we have no legal obligation to stop if you are jaywalking. (Why do we put up crosswalks and walker stop/go markers if people can just cross where ever they like?) I see at least one example if not more every day where someone can't be bothered to use the cross walk. It's 'too far away' when its maybe 30 yards down the road?
Try driving Monroe from uptown to Matthews and you sill see what i mean - Monroe at Wendover; Monroe and Rama; Monroe and Sharon Amity; Monroe and 51. Its a nightmare. And if they can't get thru all 4 lanes, they stand out in the middle of the road with traffic going both ways...
Heaven forbid they follow the law and use cross walks.

Jon Harding said...

"we have no legal obligation to stop if you are jaywalking." - This pretty much sums up this unbelievable problem. There is a belief that killing another person is an acceptable cost for the transportation system that's evolved for us over the past 50 years.

Anonymous said...

anonymous said 'no legal obligation" to stop....that's not the same thing as a 'moral obligation' to stop.Big difference. I will bet anonymous stops like everyone else does, but just points out that even the law doesn't require stopping for jaywalkers (although not sure that is true)

James Edgar said...

I knew the focus here was going to be all about the jaywalkers. I agree that you should use a crosswalk when you can, that it's not wise to simply cross wherever and just expect traffic to stop for you.

But how about this? One afternoon I got off my bus and was walking to my condo. I was on the sidewalk, minding my own business, and just as I was about to walk past the entrance to the parking lot of the convenience store, a vehicle turned in front of me into that parking lot, missing me by no more than 12 inches, going at least 25 mph. (Again, keep in mind that I was ON THE SIDEWALK). After a brief pause to let my heart rate get under 300 beats a minute, I looked to my right into the parking lot to see that the person that nearly killed me was a cop. She hopped out of her cruiser and entered the convenience store. Never once acknowledged me. Whatever she had to get, I hope it was good, since she nearly killed a man to get to it 3 seconds quicker.

That is what I am talking about. Yes, there are knuckleheads that jaywalk, but they do not make up all the stats in this study that ranks Charlotte the 10th-deadliest pedestrian city. It's people like this cop, who are more than willing to run over a pedestrian to save the 3-5 seconds they would lose if they actually waited for the pedestrian to finish crossing their path. That's what I mean when I say that drivers here hold pedestrians in contempt, that because they are driving, they are superior to anyone who is walking, and "if a walker gets in my way, I'm going on, and if they get their skull crushed, that's their fault for being in my way."