Early last week, Transportation For America and the Surface Transportation Policy Partnership released a study of the most dangerous streets in the country for pedestrians among areas of at least a million residents. Dallas ranked 13th, which fortunately beat out Houston’s 8th place ranking. Of the top 10 cities, all were located in the deep South. Florida took the bulk of the list by landing all of the top four spots with Orlando ranking most deadly.
According to Anne Canby, executive director of the Surface Transportation Policy Partnership, “Many of these communities were designed after WWII with the automobile in mind…You just don’t have walkable communities.”
The paper states “these deaths typically are labeled “accidents,” and attributed to error on the part of motorist or pedestrian. In fact, however, an overwhelming proportion share a similar factor: They occurred along roadways that were dangerous by design, streets that were engineered for speeding cars and made little or no provision for people on foot, in wheelchairs or on a bicycles.”
Dallas roads are a perfect example of infrastructure that was far overbuilt, and heavily skewed toward moving vehicles as quickly as possible. The number of six lane arterials with speed limits of 40 mph bisecting major residential communities is excessive when given our density. Cities that have double are population make due with roads half the size, and have the byproduct of being more livable, sustainable, and walkable.