The Atlanta-Sandy Springs-Marietta region was ranked the 8th most dangerous region for pedestrians in Dangerous by Design 2014. The report was released by National Complete Streets Coalition on Tuesday, according to the Atlanta Business Chronicle.
The coalition released the report to bring attention to the issue of pedestrian safety, the Atlanta Business Chronicle reported. The organization also says pedestrian fatalities are a national epidemic and pedestrian safety has been ignored for decades.
There were a total of 839 pedestrian deaths in the Atlanta region from 2003 – 2012, according to the report.
Dangerous by Design 2014 ranked the nation’s largest metropolitan areas by an index evaluating the likelihood of a person walking and being hit by a vehicle, according to the Atlanta Business Chronicle. Atlanta’s Pedestrian Danger Index from 2008-2012 was 119.35.
PEDS President and CEO Sally Flocks said higher speed, wide streets and the increasing number of individuals using public transit have significantly contributed to the number of pedestrian fatalities.
“…When you’re taking transit like a bus you have to cross the street at least once if you’re going to do a round trip. In a lot of places we don’t have safe crossing,” Flocks said.
PEDS is organization dedicated to making metro Atlanta a safe place to walk according to its website peds.org.
Some safety improvements have been made in the Atlanta area, according to Flocks. He said there is a pedestrian beacon located by the Marta station on 10th St. which flashes bright amber lights in order to get drivers’ attention.
“There’s not one solution. A lot of is asking for the safety improvements you want,” he said.
Among other cities and regions ranked in the top 10 most dangerous cities for pedestrians are Memphis, Tennessee and Jacksonville, Florida according to the report.
Orlando-Kissimmee, Florida was ranked as the most dangerous for pedestrians.
“As in past years, communities in the Sunbelt…top the list of most dangerous places to walk. These places grew…mostly through rapid spread of low-density neighborhoods that rely on wider streets with wider streets…roads that tend to be more dangerous for people walking,” the report states.
The report also said the cities were ranked most dangerous as a result of their PDI.
National Complete Streets Coalition is a program of Smart Growth America. The program advocates for better development in communities-specifically streets-throughout the nation, according to the Atlanta Business Chronicle.