Given recent coverage concerning the increase in pedestrian fatalities at the national level, this is an important time to call attention to the pedestrian safety problem in metropolitan Washington and what the region is doing to address it.
While motorist fatalities in the region declined by nearly 30 percent from 2006-2010, pedestrian and bicyclist fatalities remained essentially flat. The result is that pedestrians and bicyclists now account for 30 percent of the region’s traffic fatalities. That’s unacceptable, especially as the region aims to increase its share of walking and biking.
Jeff Dunckel, Pedestrian Safety Coordinator for Montgomery County and George Branyan, Pedestrian Program Coordinator for the District of Columbia recently sat down to discuss pedestrian safety issues. The video below features a wide-ranging discussion of issues related to pedestrian and bicyclist safety including street design and land use changes, models for walkability, and the impact of the Street Smart program.
Street Smart is a regional media and law enforcement campaign, aimed at reducing pedestrian and bicyclist fatalities in metropolitan Washington by raising awareness and encouraging behavior change among drivers, pedestrians, and bicyclists.
Branyan also recently provided some perspective over at the DDOT blog on the latest statistics from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) that prompted much of the recent wave of coverage.