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Boston Is Safest Metro Region For Pedestrians, Report Finds

This article is more than 9 years old.

The Boston metro area is the safest place in the country for pedestrians, according to a report out Tuesday from the advocacy group Smart Growth America.

Among the 51 largest U.S. metropolitan areas, the Boston region — which stretches from Quincy to southern New Hampshire — had the lowest number of pedestrian deaths relative to the number of people who walk to work.

(Ethan M. Long/Flickr)
(Ethan M. Long/Flickr)

The report says there were 476 pedestrian fatalities between 2003 and 2012. WalkBoston, an organization that aims to make walking safer and easier in Massachusetts, says that while the region is ranked No. 1, the number of deaths is still unacceptable.

“Almost 7,000 pedestrians were injured during that same period, and 34 child pedestrians died in Massachusetts from 2003 to 2010,” WalkBoston’s executive director, Wendy Landman, said in a statement. “These numbers keep us focused on a future where our streets are safe for everyone.”

Four Florida regions that include Orlando, Tampa, Jacksonville and Miami came in at the bottom of the list, ranking among the most dangerous metro areas for pedestrians.

The metros were ranked based on their "pedestrian danger index," or PDI, which is the rate of pedestrian deaths relative to the number of people who walk to work in the region.

The national pedestrian danger index is pegged at 52.2 over the last decade. Boston's PDI from 2008 to 2012 is 18.65, with Orlando at the other end of the spectrum at 244.28.

The report notes that children, adults 65 and older and people of color are disproportionately represented among pedestrian fatalities.

The group that released the report also offers suggestions for creating safer streets, such as more frequent opportunities for pedestrians to cross, responsive push buttons, ADA compliant crosswalks and narrower travel lanes to lower vehicle speed.

Abby Elizabeth Conway Digital Producer/Editor
Abby Elizabeth Conway was formerly a digital producer and editor at WBUR.



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