New Report Shows Continuing Tragedy of Preventable Pedestrian Deaths

November 9, 2009

More than 4,500 Americans Killed While Walking Annually

America Walks congratulates T4America and the Surface Transportation Policy Partnership on the release of Dangerous by Design: Solving the Epidemic of Preventable Pedestrians Deaths (And Making Great Neighborhoods). This critical report highlights the continuing national tragedy of pedestrian deaths and injuries in the U.S., and points to policies and projects that states and municipalities can implement to make it safer and more convenient to walk.

“More than 4,500 Americans are killed, and 76,000 injured while walking every year,” said Mindy Craig, America Walks Board of Directors president.  “Walking should not be a high-risk activity. We know how to reduce these tragic and preventable deaths, but need the Congress and federal government to support us and provide the means to implement them.”

Dangerous by Design was co-authored by America Walks board member, Michelle Ernst.  The report ranks metropolitan areas according to the relative danger of walking.  According to that analysis, the most dangerous places to walk were those marked by roads designed to move as many cars as possible, as fast as possible, without provisions for the safety of people on foot or bicycle.

The report identifies a number of solutions to improve safety and walkability in our cities. Specifically, the report calls on Congress to pass a national Complete Streets policy which would ensure that new roads are built with consideration for people on foot and bicycles and in buses, as well as in cars. A successful national Complete Street policy will not only make streets safer, but also reduce congestion, greatly improve the health of communities and aide in the creation of more sustainable environments.

In addition, the report recommends expanding the federal Safe Routes to Schools program which has a proven track-record in making it safer and possible for more kids to walk to school.  Perhaps most important, the report asks Congress to provide a fair share of federal safety funds to help reduce the nearly 12 percent of traffic fatalities involving pedestrians or cyclists.

The full report, as well as state fact sheets, is available at

To view nationwide press coverage of the Dangerous by Design report, please click here.