Out of the largest metro areas in the country, the Phoenix metro area is one of the most dangerous for pedestrians.
Recently released National Highway Traffic Safety Administration statistics show Phoenix is near the top in pedestrian deaths, but that's partly because Phoenix is one of the biggest cities in the country by population. The National Complete Streets Coalition, a collection of trade groups, has now compared metro areas to compare the likelihood of a pedestrian being killed by a motorist -- and Phoenix is still near the top.
The coalition -- backed by groups like AARP and the American Planning Association -- compared pedestrian deaths with rates of walking to determine how dangerous a given area is for pedestrians. Seeing as Phoenix has a relatively high number of pedestrian deaths, even when adjusted for population, plus a low rate of people walking every day, it's ranked as the eighth most-dangerous metro area for pedestrians.
Even in other spots around Arizona, pedestrian death rates were fairly high compared to the rest of the nation.
The Lake Havasu-Kingman area has had more pedestrian deaths per 100,000 residents (2.39) over the last decade than Phoenix (1.86), and Flagstaff has had twice as many deaths per 100,000 residents (5.67) as the Lake Havasu-Kingman area.
Seeing as the National Complete Streets Coalition was formed to advocate for "complete streets" -- street designs that keep pedestrians and cyclists in mind as much as they do drivers -- that's what the report advocates to lower pedestrian deaths.
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One such example noted in the report is First Street and Pierce Street in Phoenix, just north of Arizona State University's downtown campus.
In the last couple of years, the unused roadway has since been edged off with a curb, and the new non-road space has been filled in with planters and trees to separate from the sidewalk, which was widened during the project.
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