Pedestrians Deaths On Freeways is On The Rise - most because of lack of safe places for pedestrians to cross busy roads | Streetsblog USA

Headlines are quick hits from media outlets from Missouri and around the world. Follow the headline link for the full story. The source of this headline says:

ore Americans are dying on high-speed roads because cities and states haven’t built proper infrastructure to help people cross safely, a new study shows.

The number of pedestrian deaths on highways has soared 60 percent in a decade, even higher than the 53 percent rise in pedestrian fatalities on all roads since 2009, according to a report by the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety out this month.

The report delved into the 2,518 traffic fatalities on controlled-access freeways and interstates between 2015 and 2017. Three out of four of those killed by vehicles on highways were male and 55 percent were between the ages of 20 and 44. And of those, 42 percent were crashes that occurred when people attempted to cross the dangerous multi-lane corridors.

In many areas around the country, pedestrians are weighing the risks of a deadly encounter with a speeding vehicle with accessing shops and other businesses in their neighborhoods, the study found.

MoBikeFed comment: Typically a freeway or expressway represents one of the most formidable and difficult barriers to safe, connected travel for people who walk and bicycle.

When safe crossing points are too distant--and those crossing points are themselves difficult and dangerous, because so much fast traffic is concentrated to them--pedestrians invariably find a way to reach desirable destinations that is shorter but far more dangerous.

Where interstate freeways and other major roads exist in populated areas, they must be designed with frequent, safe crossing points.

As the article notes, the speed of travel on interstate freeways has become too high for motorists to be able to brake for pedestrians or any other obstacles (stopped vehicles, debris, animals) that may appear in travel lanes.

Thought must be given to appropriate speed limits in populated areas. Slower speed limits lead to safer travel for all road users, and often reduce congestion by keeping traffic moving at a slower, but steady, rate of speed.