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Dangerous By Design – report by National Complete Streets Coalition

“American communities are poised for a renaissance in walking. We’re walking more often, for fun and to get to places in our neighborhood. We turn to when figuring out where to live and our most walkable places often are among the most economically vibrant in the country. Hundreds of cities have adopted Complete Streets policies to ensure walking is at the forefront of our decisions regarding street design. Public health organizations from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and the Office of the Surgeon General to the local doctor’s office are encouraging us to get out for a walk for physical activity and to combat chronic disease. And indeed, we are walking: six out of 10 people walk for physical activity, and the share of adults who said they walk for transportation grew 6 percent from 2005 to 2010, according to the most recent data available. But we are still dealing with a legacy of roadways that fail to account for the safety of people on foot. In the decade from 2003 through 2012, 47,025 people died while walking on our streets. That’s sixteen times the number of Americans who died in natural disasters—earthquakes, floods, hurricanes and tornadoes—over the last 10 years. On top of that, an estimated 676,000 were injured—meaning someone on foot was hit by a car about every eight minutes. Nationally, pedestrians represented 12.3 percent of total traffic deaths over this decade. After decreasing slightly in the first few years of the past decade, the fatality numbers have been rising more recently. A total of 4,280 people walking died in traffic crashes in 2010. That number increased to 4,432 in 2011, and 4,743 in 2012. In 2012, people on foot represented nearly 15 percent of all traffic fatalities.”

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