More than 76,000 Americans have been killed while crossing or walking along a street in their community in the last 15 years.
Today, our new report shows many of these “accidents” have one thing in common: They happened on roadways that were “Dangerous by Design” – engineered for speeding traffic and little or no provision made for people on foot, in wheelchairs, or on a bicycle.
The good news is that we can fight the problem at the root with strong leadership and more resources from the White House for “Complete Streets” – streets designed with all road users in mind.
Ask U.S. Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood to make safer streets a priority!
One-third of Americans either can’t drive or choose not to. Yet, most communities around the country are laced with roads that are inhospitable, at best, to people traveling by foot. Children, older Americans, and minorities are especially at risk.
In the 52 largest metro areas annual spending of federal funds on bicycle and pedestrian projects averaged just $1.39 per person!
Nationwide, less than 1.5 percent of funds authorized under the current federal transportation law have been spent on projects to improve the safety of walking and bicycling. It’s a ridiculously low figure when you consider that pedestrians comprise 11.8 percent of all traffic deaths and trips made on foot account for almost 9 percent of total trips.
We need a new approach to safety – one that makes sure that all transportation projects take into account the needs of everyone traveling on the roads, not just motorists. In Congress, the Complete Streets Act of 2009 would do just that, and similar policies are being adopted in states and cities across the country.
Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood has already proven his strong interest in safety with a distracted driving initiative and his creation of a new Safety Council. Because the Department of Transportation holds the purse strings, if Secretary LaHood adds Complete Streets to his list of safety priorities, we can ensure that every road project takes into account the need for safe travel by everyone – including vulnerable pedestrians.
Ask the Obama Administration to take up the call for safer streets!
Changing the status quo is never easy, but with your help we can make our streets safe and accessible for everyone. Thank you for your continued support!
National Outreach Director
Transportation for America