Pedestrian death numbers alarming

The latest Dangerous by Design report from Transportation for America (T4A) shines a spotlight on Florida’s very Transportation for America logo high numbers of pedestrians killed in traffic. Over a 10-year period — 2000-2009 — there were 5,163 Florida pedestrian deaths. When you calculate the Pedestrian Danger Index, Florida ranks worst in the nation — and Southeast Florida fourth worst among the 50 largest metropolitan areas. Only the Orlando, Tampa-St. Petersburg, and Jacksonville areas ranked worse than the Miami-Fort Lauderdale-Pompano Beach area — that is, Broward and Miami-Dade Counties taken as one unit.

A good way to wrap your mind around the size of the issue is to look at T4A’s interactive map of where pedestrians were killed during those 10 years. Type in your home address and watch the map come up. I think of my own suburban neighborhood as safe and very walkable, so I was surprised to find the forest of exclamation points spread across Miami-Dade County — each one a marker of some man or woman, boy or girl, killed while crossing a street, or waiting for a bus, or walking home from school . . . The map is truly sobering, and so are the numbers in the T4A charts.