As Atlanta pedestrian accident lawyers, we haven’t been blind to the lack of proper infrastructure that makes Atlanta such a dangerous place for pedestrians. Now comes a new study that confirms the Atlanta metropolitan area as one of the most treacherous places for pedestrians in the US.
The rankings have been developed by the Surface Transportation Policy Partnership, which recently released a report on the state of pedestrian safety in the country. The picture is bleak. According to the report, approximately 5,000 pedestrians die every year in traffic accidents.
The list of 10 most dangerous metropolitan areas has Florida occupying the first four spots making it a nightmare destination for pedestrians. Memphis is at number 5, followed by Raleigh –Cary, North Carolina, Louisville/Jefferson County, KY-IN, Houston-Sugarland- Bay Town, TX, Birmingham-Hoover, AL, with Atlanta- Sandy Springs- Marietta occupying the 10th spot. To generate accurate rankings, the researchers developed a Pedestrian Danger Index (PDI) to clearly and correctly compare metropolitan areas based on actual danger to pedestrians.
While the nationwide the PDI or the risk of walking is 52.1, Georgia’s pedestrians have a PDI of 99.2. Among Georgia’s metropolitan areas, Macon ranks first on the list with a population of 223, 0777, and a PDI that’s off the charts at 398.9. In Macon, 20 percent of the total traffic deaths between 2007 and 2008 were pedestrians. Macon is followed by Brunswick, Rome, Albany, Atlanta-Sandy Springs-Marietta, Dalton, Savannah, Chattanooga, Augusta- Richmond County and Warner Robins.
One reason for Georgia’s appalling showing in pedestrian safety is that in Georgia, little is spent on the kind of pedestrian safety programs and infrastructure enhancements that can minimize fatalities. While Georgia had a total amount of $4.04 billion available in federal transportation funds between 2005 and 2008, just 1.7 percent of this was spent on pedestrian safety enhancement projects like building sidewalks and crosswalks, and safety awareness programs for pedestrians. That works out to a grand total of $1.78 per Georgian on pedestrian safety.
Walking the streets of Atlanta should not have to be a test of survival skills. For too long, city planners have been too shortsighted and too focused on auto safety. As Atlanta pedestrian accident attorneys, we have just one question – why isn’t there more outrage at such negligence of the most vulnerable users of our roads?