As driving remains as a top mode of transportation in the U.S., pedestrians are increasingly at risk of injury and death — What are we doing about it? Will Asbury Park experience “bikelash” for additional bike lanes, complaints from drivers for possible slower, calmed traffic? Or will residents and visitors realize that Asbury Park is becoming a model of a city that builds infrastructure to save lives, and improve quality of life for everyone…?
Report: Pedestrian deaths continue decade-long climb
Jason Plautz January 23, 2018
A new report from Smart Growth America found there were 12,057 pedestrian deaths in 2016 and 2017 combined (6,080 and 5,977 deaths, respectively), the two highest totals on record since 1990.
The threat has been rising since a low of 4,109 deaths in 2009, a more than 35% increase. Over the past decade, pedestrian fatalities have happened at a rate of 13 per day, according to the report, which drew data from the federal Fatality Analysis Reporting System.
As new mobility options like shared bikes and scooters expand in cities, advocates warn that not enough is being done to design roads that can accommodate the full variety of travelers, leaving sidewalks and bike lanes crowded.
That’s especially pronounced in low-income and minority neighborhoods, which traditionally see less infrastructure investment. African Americans and American Indians were more likely to be at risk as pedestrians. Charles Brown, a researcher at Rutgers University’s Alan M. Voorhees Transportation Center, said that reflects the higher share of minority residents who have to walk to work, even in neighborhoods with “a lack of sidewalks and overall connectivity” and a “lack of complete streets.”