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Perhaps This is Why We Drive Instead of Walk, Bike

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Walking in Little Tokyo | Photo by vmiramontes via Flickr

Walking in Little Tokyo | Photo by vmiramontes via Flickr
Face it, throughout much of the Los Angeles-Long Beach-Santa Ana region, walking is not always a pleasant experience. And although we already know this, it's also not that safe either, finds a new report, released by two transportation groups with the help of other organizations like AARP. Here are a few statistics:

  • 26.9% of traffic-related deaths in the region were pedestrians
  • Only $0.45 per person are spent on pedestrian and bicycle improvements
  • In 2007 and 2008, there were 247 and 244 deaths, respectively, giving the region the third highest share of pedestrian fatalities.
  • Overall, our region ranked 27th out of the 52 largest metro areas in total pedestrian safety

Damien Newton at StreetsblogLA and Deborah Murphy of L.A. Walks say that with over a quarter of traffic-related deaths being pedestrians, something is very wrong considering that only 2.7 percent of the region's population walk to work. If you look a the New York-Northern New Jersey-Long Island region, where the number of walk-commuters is double, the amount of traffic-related pedestrian fatalities is slightly higher than here at 31.1%.

So what can be done they ask? "One small step the City of Los Angeles could make immediately is setting aside a portion of its Measure R Local Return funds for bicycle and pedestrian safety. The City Council Transportation Committee is set to vote on how to spend it's portion of the county-wide transit tax on November 18."

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