Thursday, November 19, 2009

Pittsburgh > Seattle > Cincinnati

Readers of the Medicine Man's Blog already know that Pittsburgh is much, much better then Boston from a previous post.

Now, Transportation for America ask "How dangerous is your city?"  A study was conducted to find and measure the Pedestrian Danger Index (PDI) of 52 US metro areas with populations of greater then 1 million people.  "The PDI was developed to allow a fair comparison of metro areas according to their risk to pedestrians, relative to how much an ordinary person walks in that metro area."
Over all Pittsburgh was found to be the 4th safest city (based on PDI), Seattle the 5th, and Cincinnati the 7th.  Philadelphia is an abysmal #15 in overall pedestrian safely.  The worst city: Orlando (#52).

If you're over 65, the study finds that states such as Hawaii, California, and Florida are all the more dangerous for you!  TfA reports that the "the higher fatality rate for older pedestrians can probably be attributed to several factors: 1) older pedestrians have a higher risk of death than young people given the same severity of injury; 2) older pedestrians are more likely to have perceptual, sensory and cognitive impairments that decrease their ability to avoid oncoming traffic; and, 3) existing pedestrian infrastructure, such as the duration of crosswalk signals, ignores the needs of older walkers." 

I really think from point #2 that TfA is trying to say that older walkers are slower to cross the street, slower to react if they feel they are in danger, may not see the cars or trucks coming at time, may not hear the roar of the traffic coming at them, and may not know what to do if they feel they are in danger. 

Even if you are young and quick, you still have to be lucky.  This video just goes to show you that brightly warn crossing guard reflectors don't always avoid close contacts with cars either. 
Urban Cincy did a great recap of the findings and expanding upon how pedestrian traffic relates to safety in our fair city. 

At least Cincinnati > Cleveland.  :-) 

Thanks for reading,

Dr. Alex

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