(Orlando, Florida -- Mark Simpson, WAMU) A report by the group Transportation for America says the four deadliest metro regions for pedestrians in the U.S. are all in Florida. Orlando tops out the list, followed by Tampa/ St. Petersburg, Jacksonville and Miami/ Fort Lauderdale.
Researchers examined 10 years of fatality data to calculate a “Pedestrian Danger Index.” The report showed the Orlando area reported 557 pedestrian deaths between 2000 and 2009. Older Floridians, age 75 and older (4.31 per 100,000 people) and African Americans (3.74 per 100,000 people) made up a large section of pedestrian deaths according to Transportation for America.
The report comes just weeks after Orlando’s northern neighborhood, the City of Winter Park, passed a “Complete Streets” resolution aimed at making its streets more friendly to pedestrians, cyclists, and other street users.
The report’s website provides a map of fatalities in the Orlando region. Many of the deaths occurred along busy arterial roads that lack sidewalks. Transportation for America says 67% of similar streets nationwide where pedestrian fatalities occurred over the last decade are eligible for federal funds to improve them.
Many Central Florida cities and towns have state highways that run through them and become the "main street". Often times traffic is traveling between 45-50 Miles Per Hour, and crosswalks are infrequent. This causes many pedestrians, including wheelchair bound seniors, to take their chances dodging cars and hoping their timing is right to cross.
A Google News search for "Orlando Pedestrian Killed" reveals dozens of stories from across Central Florida.
Transportation for America last released a report in 2009. It also ranked the Orlando Metro region highly on its list.