Pedestrian Safety in Cities

No Accident: Traffic and Pedestrians in the Modern City (20 page pdf, Mobilities Vol. 5, No. 1, 41–59, February 2010)

Also discussed here: No Accident: Traffic and Pedestrians in the Modern City (World Streets, May 14, 2010)

This article examines the safety of pedestrians when confronted by traffic in modern cities, using the concept of “walksheds” and  pointing out, among other strategies, the importance of reducing vehicle speeds, as several other papers have warned, such as these posts:

30 kph as a Speed Limit


Slow Down

Key Quotes:

“This urban restructuring of the city streets as pathways for automobiles with pedestrians shunted to the sidewalks has a high human cost…Across the world almost over 10 million people are crippled or injured each year, and approximately 1.2 million people are killed every year due to road accidents, approximately 3,250 people every day,.. The majority of these deaths, about 70 percent, occurs in developing countries. Sixty-five percent of deaths involve pedestrians and 35 percent of pedestrian deaths are children.“

“By reimagining the city as a series of walksheds we refocus on the citizen as a walker and the city as a place of walking. And by concentrating on pedestrian injuries and fatalities we highlight the physical costs to pedestrians of cities structured for and by the automobile.“

“[in the U.S.A.] the rate of fatalities per vehicle miles of travel has declined from approximately 11 per 100 million vehicle miles of travel to just less than 2 by 2000. While pedestrians account for only 12 percent of all traffic fatalities, expressed as per passenger mile they are 36 times more likely than those of vehicle occupants…Since 1979, traffic fatalities have declined 50 percent in Canada, 46 percent in Great Britain, 48 percent in Australia and 18 percent in the United States“

“A walkshed is the space-time cone of walkability centered at the primary residence or place of work or play.. Measuring the safety and quality of life within a walkshed is an alternative way to map and conceive of the city “

Walk Score

“Injury control and prevention strategies .. away from a car-dominated culture toward a vehicle–pedestrian sharing culture:

*Limiting and controlling speed through active and passive measures that target drivers’ decisions on how fast to drive and road conditions that indirectly force drivers to reduce their average speeds;

*Organizing traffic away from residential areas, limiting inner city and business area traffic flow, and encouraging alternative modes of transportation

*Continuing public information programs targeting high-risk groups and vulnerable urban populations

*Integrating urban planning and development and public health to design built environments that promote healthier lifestyles rather than safer behaviors.”

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