Report: Jacksonville streets among most dangerous to walk in US

Florida is the most dangerous state for walking


JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – Walking in many Florida cities, including Jacksonville can be deadly. 

According to a new report, Florida is the most dangerous state to walk, with eight cities considered among the nation's 10 deadliest metro areas for pedestrians. The Dangerous by Design study ranks Jacksonville as the sixth deadliest metro area for pedestrians in the United States. 

The Smart Growth America report lists 5,433 pedestrian fatalities in Florida between 2008 and 2017, and a national high 2.73 annual fatalities per 100,000 people during that time frame. That's the equivalent of a jumbo jet full of people crashing with no survivors every single month.

The truly jarring numbers come from the Pedestrian Danger Index (PDI), which is the rate of pedestrian deaths relative to the number of people who walk to work in the area. Florida's PDI is an incredible 182.0 in 2019, with Alabama coming closest at 145.0.

Jacksonville recorded more than 400 deaths in the nine-year survey period.  Jacksonville's PDI for 2018 stands at 226.2.

“That’s not something I want us to be known for, and certainly it makes me question my own safety,” said Dabney Ware, a Jacksonville resident.

South Florida ranks 14th overall in the most dangerous metro areas to walk list, with Orlando heading the rankings followed by the Daytona Beach area and Palm Beach-Melbourne-Titusville.

Overall, pedestrian deaths rose by 35.4 percent in the U.S. from 2008 to 2017. 

The report claims the reason behind the deaths is that roads are still being designed without pedestrians in mind, producing streets that "prioritize high speeds for cars over safety for all people."

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