Tristate named least dangerous for pedestrians

Saturday, August 8, 1998

The Cincinnati Enquirer

Cincinnatians walk on the safe side.
(Glenn Hartong photo)
| ZOOM |
Sometimes it's better to be last.

In a ranking of the most dangerous metropolitan areas for pedestrians, the Tristate ranks at the very bottom, according to a new study by the Surface Transportation Policy Project in Washington, D.C.

The study does not necessarily mean the Tristate is a walker's paradise -- only that its pedestrians get hit less than those in other metropolitan areas, said Barbara McCann, the study's author.

"In our survey, no city got a passing grade," she said. "Cincinnati just ranked at the bottom of the 39 largest metropolitan areas."

Safest for walking

1. Cincinnati-Hamilton, Ohio-Ky.-Ind.
2. Cleveland-Akron-Lorain.
3. Rochester, N.Y.
4. Minneapolis-St. Paul, Minn.-Wis.
5. (tie) Columbus, Ohio.
5. (tie) Kansas City, Mo.-Kan.
7. Milwaukee-Racine, Wis.
8. Pittsburgh-Beaver Valley, Pa.
9. New York-Northern New Jersey-Long Island, N.Y.-N.J.
10. Boston-Lawrence-Salem, Mass.-N.H.

Most dangerous

1. Orlando, Fla.
2. Tampa-St. Petersburg-Clearwater, Fla.
3. Miami-Fort Lauderdale, Fla.
4. Providence, R.I.-Pawtucket, R.I.-Fall River, Mass.
5. Phoenix.
6. Houston-Galveston-Brazoria, Texas.
7. Atlanta.
8. Los Angeles-Anaheim-Riverside, Calif.
9. Buffalo-Niagara Falls, N.Y.
10. Charlotte-Gastonia-Rock Hill, N.C.-S.C.
Read the full study at
The rankings reflect a "pedestrian danger index," calculated from factors such as pedestrian fatalities and injuries, total population, census data on how many commuters walk to work, and the percentage of pedestrian injuries among all traffic-related injuries. On a scale of 100, Orlando led the list with an index of 95; Cincinnati was lowest with 16. Cleveland was second-lowest with 17.

Ms. McCann said most of the findings reflect that the most dangerous cities were those with sprawling development and urban design aimed at moving cars and trucks rather than providing access for people, Ms. McCann said.

The danger spots are typically in the South and West; new cities with transportation plans that "focused on cars and did not pay attention to the people who walk," said Ms. McCann.

Cincinnati and Cleveland are older areas that have typically included pedestrians in their transportation plans, said Lou Ethridge, spokesman for the Ohio-Kentucky-Indiana Regional Council of Governments.

The fast-growing newer cities of the South and West, many times, do not have development policies inclusive of pedestrians, he said.

"Any area that has recognized the need for pedestrian facilities. . that's where you'll see the safety," Mr. Ethridge said.

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Tristate named least dangerous for pedestrians