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According to a recent pedestrian study, “Deadly By Design,” Fresno ranks as the 21st most dangerous city for pedestrians in America. Image via Google Street View

published on June 7, 2021 - 2:10 PM
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Despite fewer drivers on the road, California reported an increase in traffic deaths in 2020, with a startling increase in a Central Valley city.

According to a recent pedestrian study, “Deadly By Design,” Fresno ranks as the 21st most dangerous city for pedestrians in America.

The city recorded 235 pedestrian fatalities over a ten-year span from 2010 to 2019 — or 2.4 deaths a year per 100,000 people.

Bakersfield placed second on the list and Stockton-Lodi placed 15.

Orlando-Kissimmee-Sanford, Florida topped the list as the most dangerous city for pedestrians in America.

California reported 3,723 traffic deaths in 2020, up 5% from 2019, even though there were fewer drivers on roads last year due to the disruption from the COVID-19 pandemic.

The study is issued each year by Smart Growth America, a nonprofit headquartered in Washington, D.C. aiming to ensure equity and sustainable community growth, and the National Complete Streets Coalition, a nonprofit alliance of groups committed to safer street policies and practices.

In the first half of 2020, 485 of the state’s reported traffic accidents involved a pedestrian.

To compare with 2019, Fresno did see fewer fatal incidents in 2020, but the number of accidents and the number of people injured almost doubled from the year before.

According to the Statewide Integrated Traffic Records System database, there were 88 accidents involving pedestrians in 2020, up from 46 in 2019.

There were six pedestrian fatalities in Fresno in 2020, down from 21 in 2019.

Pedestrian injuries recorded in 2019 jumped from 40 to 88 in 2020.

Fresno authorities reported, 1,147 total accidents across the city in 2020.

Because Fresno is part of a string of towns situated along Highway 99, the city has greatly elevated pedestrian accident numbers each year, according to the report.

Some of the top most dangerous roads in Fresno our Highway 99 with 18 fatalities, Blackstone Avenue with 11 fatalities, Shaw Avenue with nine fatalities, Cedar avenue with eight fatalities, and Clinton Avenue with seven fatalities, from 2008 to 2018.

Some of Fresno’s Most dangerous intersections include Shaw and Valentine avenues with six pedestrian accidents, First Street and Angus Avenue with five, Ashlan and Blackstone avenues with five and First Street and Tulare Avenue with four.

Highway 99 is one of the nation’s most infamous highways in the U.S.

In 2020, the California Highway Patrol had to respond to at least 12 pedestrian collisions on Highway 99 in Fresno, with those crashes injuring 10 victims and claiming the lives of four.

According to a study released in 2018 and updated in 2021 by personal finance website ValuePenguin, analysts found in looking at crash data from 2011 and 2015 that there were about 62 fatal collisions per 100 miles on Highway 99. The highest frequency of fatal collisions occurred in Fresno.

ValuePenguin’s study also ranks it as the second highest in the USA for fatal crashes involving alcohol-induced DUI.

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