Twin Cities 6th safest metro for pedestrians

  • Article by: TIM HARLOW , Star Tribune
  • Updated: May 21, 2014 - 8:12 PM

Crossing the street has its risks, but pedestrians in the Twin Cities and in Minnesota are safer than most, according to a report out Tuesday from the National Safe Streets Coalition.

The safe-street advocacy group ranked the country’s 51 largest metro areas in terms of how dangerous they are for those on foot. The Twin Cities was ranked the sixth safest place to walk.

Among states, Minnesota ranked in the top third, according to the Dangerous by Design 2014 report, which looked at death and injury rates between 2003 and 2012.

More than 47,000 people nationwide died while walking, 16 times the number of Americans killed in natural disasters. Another 676,000 were injured when hit by a vehicle, which happens every eight seconds in the United States, according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration.

More than half of all pedestrian fatalities were on roads with speed limits of 40 miles per hour or greater, the report said.

In Minnesota, 395 pedestrians were killed during the time period, representing 8.2 percent of all traffic fatalities.

The coalition, along with its partners — AARP and the American Society of Landscape Architects — created a Pedestrian Danger Index (PDI) that gives an indication of the likelihood of a pedestrian being struck and killed. The index was based on the share of local commuters who walk to work and the most recent five years of data on pedestrian fatalities.

Minneapolis, which had 249 pedestrian deaths, received a score of 32.15 to rank No. 46.

The most dangerous places to walk were in Florida. Orlando, with a score of 244.28, was the most dangerous, followed by Tampa-St. Petersburg, Jacksonville and Miami.

Boston was deemed the safest, followed by Pittsburgh, Seattle, New York, San Francisco and then the Twin Cities.

Of the states, Minnesota scored 52.8 on the PDI to come in at No. 38. Florida led with a score of 168.6, followed by Alabama, Louisiana, South Carolina and Georgia. The safest places were Vermont, Alaska, Washington, D.C., Nebraska and South Dakota.

 

Tim Harlow • 612-673-7768

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