A 2019 report found Fresno the 26th most dangerous place for pedestrians in the U.S.
Written by Frank Lopez
The deadliest areas to be a pedestrian have been identified for this year’s “Dangerous By Design” study, and Fresno is on the list.
Fresno is ranked at 21 in the study’s Pedestrian Danger Index for 2010-2019.
From 2010 to 2019, there were 235 pedestrian deaths in the City of Fresno, equivalent to 2.4 annual pedestrian fatalities per 100,000 people. Fresno has a Pedestrian Danger Index of 149.4.
The No. 1 ranking goes to Orlando-Kissimmee-Sanford, Florida, which had 740 pedestrian fatalities from 2010 to 2019 with a Pedestrian Danger Index of 295.
Other California cities that made the list include Stockton-Lodi, ranked No. 15 with 187 deaths and an index of 168; and Bakersfield, which ranked No. 2 with 260 deaths and an Index of 293.
Pedestrian walking rates for certain areas were also considered.
The study was issued by Smart Growth America and the National Streets Complete Streets Coalition.
“While transportation agencies have done much to avoid doing so, we urgently need to change the way we design and build roads to prioritize safety, not speed as we currently do,” said Beth Osborne, transportation director for Smart Growth America. “In fact, the obsession with keeping traffic moving and avoiding delay at all costs in hopes of saving drivers mere seconds, we create the very dangers highlighted in this report.”
A Zoom media briefing took place on March 9 that included experts from Smart Growth America and people who have lost friends or relatives to a pedestrian fatality incident.
Rayla Bellis, a program manager at Smart Growth America and one of the primary authors of the study, said that no metro area in the nation has seen decreasing pedestrian fatality rates, but have either stayed the same or increased.
“No one is doing well,” Bellis said. Just because a place doesn’t rise to the top 20 list doesn’t mean they aren’t seeing these tragedies occur in their communities, Most places are doing worse since the last edition of this report .”
Bellis said that the recent data follows similar pattern cycles from previous years.