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Making Streets Safer for Pedestrians

June 16, 2011
Ryan Wiggins

Neglect for pedestrian safety in the design and use of American streets has resulted in an estimated 47,700 pedestrian deaths in the U.S. during the decade from 2000 to 2009, according to a recent study by Transportation for America, a coalition working on transportation reform.

In the same decade, more than 688,000 pedestrians were injured, equivalent to a pedestrian being struck every seven minutes, according to the coalition's report, “Dangerous by Design 2011.”

Ryan Wiggins, Southern California Organizer for Transportation for America, discussed the report’s findings and methodology, examined why Inland southern California rates so poorly, and focused on what makes streets unsafe.

While a number of Florida communities ranked highest in the study’s Pedestrian Danger Index, the Riverside-San Bernardino-Ontario region ranked 5th in the nation based on the index.

Despite the national data, little attention or public resources have been committed to reduce pedestrian death and injuries in the U.S., according to the study.

Mr. Wiggins also discussed current federal policy regarding pedestrian and bicycle investments, what is being done to improve the safety of our streets, and how those interested can help.

Transportation for America is a national coalition of more than 600 organizations, elected officials, agencies, businesses and labor groups focused on reforming the federal transportation policy to invest in a multi-modal 21st century transportation system that promotes economic development, improves public health and reduces oil dependency.

Mr. Wiggins has dual Master’s degrees in International Environmental Policy and Natural Resources and Sustainable Development from American University in Washington, D.C., and the United Nations mandated University for Peace in Costa Rica. He also is a U.S. Navy veteran.


Mr. Wiggins' Slide Presentation

Audio of Mr. Wiggins' Presentation (58.4MB)

For more information on Transportation for America

To download a PDF version of the study:
"Dangerous by Design 2011: Solving the Epidemic of Preventable Pedestrian Deaths."

Transportation Injury Mapping System - UC Berkeley