In 2016, 678 pedestrians died in Texas. That’s a 21.5 percent jump since the year prior. According to data from the Governors Highway Safety Association, pedestrian deaths nationwide increased 27 percent from 2007 to 2016 while all other categories of traffic deaths plummeted by 14 percent. Cars have become safer. Our streets have not.
Texas accounted for about 10 percent of the nation’s 6,000 pedestrian deaths, and the state has three counties on the dubious, depressing list of the 10 where they are most common: Harris (128) and Dallas (84) and Bexar (68). So what can we do? I’d like to direct you to this essay from TheMap.io’s Robert Mundinger, who has been quietly doing the lord’s work in exploring urban issues on Medium. This post is about the Vision Zero initiative, a strategy with the goal of eliminating pedestrian traffic fatalities altogether. Cities that participate admit that these are preventable occurrences. The strategy encourages urban design that makes streets as easy as possible to navigate for drivers and pedestrians alike. The initiative gets support from the mayor, and brings together numerous city departments to focus on what can change to improve the outcomes.Read More