10 Most Dangerous Cities for Pedestrians
Florida in particular does not fare well
By John Johnson, Newser Staff
Posted May 25, 2014 1:40 PM CDT
   (Shutterstock)

(Newser) – Head's up, Florida pedestrians. It just may save your life. A new study about the most dangerous cities for those who get around by foot finds that the top four are in Florida. The top 10 offenders, via Smart Growth America:

  1. Orlando, Fla.
  2. Tampa, Fla.
  3. Jacksonville, Fla.
  4. Miami, Fla.
  5. Memphis, Tenn.
  6. Birmingham, Ala.
  7. Houston, Texas
  8. Atlanta, Ga.
  9. Phoenix, Ariz.
  10. Charlotte, NC

So why do cities in the South and Southwest fare so poorly? At the Washington Post, Emily Badger observes that, generally speaking, these are car-dependent cities that grew up "in the age of the automobile." When they were booming in the post-World War II years, urban planners didn't give much thought to pedestrian safety. Contrast that with some of the most-safe cities, including Boston (the safest at No. 50), New York (48), and Chicago (43), which were laid out before the car became king. The top five safest, in order, are Boston, Pittsburgh, Seattle and New York (tie), and San Francisco.

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Showing 3 of 27 comments
Jeff Redding
Jun 16, 2014 6:25 PM CDT
From 2000 to 2010, there have been 781 federal convictions on corruption charges in Florida. That's an average of one every five days for 10 straight years. http://archive.wtsp.com/news/local/story.aspx?storyid=257829
lilia.s
Jun 9, 2014 2:35 PM CDT
That "study" is an absolute farce. I live in Seattle and nearly get run over in crosswalks 3-4 times every day. The ONLY reason Seattle doesn't have more pedestrian deaths and injuries is that the pedestrians are scared to use a crosswalk when the signal is theirs. Everyone realizes - sees every 3-4 minutes on a daily basis - cars, trucks, even Metro and Sound Transit bus drivers rolling right through *occupied* crosswalks, just barely missing pedestrians, bicyclists and women pushing baby strollers. Many cars, taxis and limos pull right into the crosswalks, within inches of pedestrians, and intimidate them with the vehicles while squeezing in between people walking in both directions. I was loudly cursed at by a driver because I didn't stop, while I had the walk signal, so he could illegally make his turn. A few weeks ago a woman gave me the finger and shouted the "f" word out her window because I didn't stop crossing so she could speed through the crosswalk, even after other vehicles from both directions had stopped and waited for me to cross. Apparently Seattle drivers consider humans to be the equivalent of traffic cones; as long as the driver doesn't hit one they believe that they have passed the obstacle course. Seattle is absolutely DEADLY! A friend of mine is planning to stand at several particuarly bad intersections soon and video the vehicles, including the license plates and the drivers, of every vehicle illegally entering occupied crosswalks with walk signals. Maybe when the criminal drivers of vehicles including busses and other vehicles see themselves on *youtube* they may start driving safely and obeying the WA State crosswalk laws.
Jeff Redding
May 29, 2014 9:32 AM CDT
The FDOT is corrupt and incompetent. I am a disabled vet for blindness and the FDOT placed street lamp posts in the middle of the sidewalk near my home. I have been trying since 2003 to get them relocated. The FDOT refuses because they are over 32 inches from the curb and thus ADA Compliant. However, I think they are wrong to use the ADA to justify obstructing the sidewalk. As a disabled vet this is an insult to my service. Florida will remain number one in deaths and injuries to Pedestrians. The FDOT can't even understand it is wrong to obstruct a sidewalk. A new National Pedestrian Safety Report lists four cities in Florida as the most dangerous cities in the Nation for Pedestrians. When I attended the FDOT Hearing about the Bee Ridge Road Safety Islands. I questioned a FDOT Official about Florida's Pedestrian Safety Record. The Official said she thought Florida was the 48th State in Pedestrian Deaths and Injuries. I informed her that she was wrong and that Florida was in fact the worst state in the nation in Pedestrian Safety. You idiots at the FDOT have no clue about how your incompetence and corruption is causing Pedestrians to be killed. How do you people sleep at night? Below are a copy of the comments I submitted to the Public Hearing. (For the Public Hearing Comments Record) Today I attended the Public Hearing about the Bee Ridge Road Safety Islands. I think most attendees were business owners or drivers concerned about individual islands effecting their business or personal driving habits. I may have been the only actual "Bee Ridge Road Pedestrian" at the meeting. The FDOT should really try to do a better job getting the word out and getting more Pedestrians to attend the Public Hearings. The cost of the 12 safety islands exceeds Sarasota County Sidewalk Maintenance Costs for an entire year. I think the traffic on Bee Ridge is too fast and busy for Pedestrian Safety Islands. I think this project will only result in a substantial increase in deaths and injuries. I have very little respect for the FDOT because you have obstructed the sidewalk by placing posts in the middle of the sidewalk (Bee Ridge from Beneva to Cattlemen). To make it worse you justify this incompetent act with the ADA. As a disabled veteran this is an insult to my service. A Nurse at the Bee Ridge VA Clinic witnessed two bicycle accidents caused by the light post in front of the VA Clinic and she had to render medical assistance. I have suffered broken ribs and my step-son was struck by a car trying to avoid a lamp post. He has pins in his neck and is partially paralyzed. He has a hard time wiping himself now. Do you want to come over and wipe his ass every morning? It is impossible to find a lawyer to sue the FDOT because the FDOT employes over 75 lawyers and is too powerful. When ABC News interviewed Robin Stublen of the FDOT he said I was wrong about the lamp posts and said they were at the edge of the right of way. Mr. Stublen lied and basically called me a liar on ABC TV News. After my trouble with Robin Stublen, I Googled Mr. Stublen, and I Googled "FDOT Corruption". I read how Mr. Stublen was a big Tea Party Activist. I read about FDOT Officials serving time for Right Of Way Bribery. I read about the FBI investigating the FDOT for Construction Contract Rigging. Now I understand more why there are lamp posts in the middle of the sidewalk. Now I understand more why the FDOT acts like the cost to move the lamp post a couple of feet would come out of your personal pockets. Now I understand more why so many Pedestrians are injured and killed in Florida. I don't think this is the fault of most of the FDOT employes. Most of you probably think it is wrong to obstruct the sidewalk. You may even understand why it is wrong to justify it with the ADA. However, I bet none of your ADA Coordinators have a mobility disability. I bet your Bicycle Safety Coordinators never ride bicycles. I bet your Pedestrian Coordinators only walk from the parking lot to the office. In my opinion the FDOT does not care about Pedestrian Safety. The FDOT only cares about making money for themselves and their friends. Sincerely, Jeff Redding Sarasota, Florida