Dallas Is Actually Getting a Bit Safer for Pedestrians

Categories: Transportation

PedestianKilledHere.jpg
Wally Gobetz
Outside of Uptown and a small handful of other neighborhoods, walking in Dallas sucks. Ungainly sprawl and skin-boiling heat aside, there's a very real chance you'll be flattened by an SUV. No wonder that a mere 1.2 percent of the population commutes by foot, lower than all but a couple of large urban areas.

The data suggests that being a pedestrian in Dallas may be getting better. Or maybe just slightly less terrible. There's been enough of an improvement anyway to cause a noticeable dip in the pedestrian death rate.

See also: The 10 Most Dangerous Places to Walk in Dallas

When a coalition of nonprofits led by Smart Growth America and Transportation For America released their previous Dangerous By Design report in 2011, Dallas-Fort Worth-Arlington ranked as the 10th most dangerous place for pedestrians. In the 2014 version of the report, DFW has dropped to No. 12.

Between 2000 and 2009, 942 pedestrians were killed on local roads. In the period between 2003 and 2012, the number was 900. That's a 4.5 percent decrease, though given the six-year overlap, this significantly understates the actual decrease. The drop in the number of annual pedestrian deaths per 100,000 population decreased by 18 percent.

Not that a modest decrease in the chance of dying a horribly sudden and painful death is terribly encouraging. Dallas is still a long way from Boston, the safest urban area for pedestrians, which has way more walkers and way fewer deaths.

The solution proposed by Smart Growth America? Basically, more "complete streets," roads designed less to get cars through as quickly as possible than to make all road users -- drivers, pedestrians and bicyclists -- safe and comfortable. Dallas is working on it, albeit slowly.

Send your story tips to the author, Eric Nicholson.

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23 comments
Tom434
Tom434

I don't know about the current numbers but a few years ago a significant number of pedestrian deaths were from people trying to cross the freeways. 

RTGolden1
RTGolden1 topcommenter

As a newly inducted member of the pedestrian corps in Dallas, I'd have to say a good number of those pedestrian fatalities are caused by head-up-ass syndrome.  I can't believe the number of people I've seen blithely walk right out into the street, head down, intent on something on a cell phone screen, not a concern in the world.  Down near Akard/Main somewhere I was struck by the irony of a person possibly walking to catch the DART trains getting flattened by a DART bus because they were too stupid to check traffic before stepping off the curb.

MattL11
MattL11

Dallas pedestrians need to get better at jaywalking, and Dallas motorists need to get better at paying some fucking attention while driving in densely-populated areas. 

Myrna.Minkoff-Katz
Myrna.Minkoff-Katz topcommenter

Crossing any intersection on Greenville is Russian Roulette.

MikeWestEast
MikeWestEast

I have not seen a donkey cart in last 24 months.  I do see every day clueless pedestrians.  When did it become okay to cross a one way street across 3 lanes at an angle with your back to oncoming traffic against the light looking down on your stupid smartphone?  Downtown is full of these idiots.  I'm surprised we do not lose one every day.

DOisDUMDUM
DOisDUMDUM

You know what Boston also has way fewer of?


Illegal mexicans driving their donkey carts with no regard for safety or human life. 

ScottsMerkin
ScottsMerkin topcommenter

What constitutes a pedestrian death?  Does a kid playing in an alley, or a moron trying to cross 75 or 635, or someone walking down the middle of Greenville Ave instead of on the sidewalk where they belong?  Or is this actual pedestrian deaths in crosswalks when cars shouldnt be, and on sidewalks?  Are cyclist considered pedestrians?

TheRuddSki
TheRuddSki topcommenter

RTGolden1

Ft Worth has a terrible jaywalking problem, but it's a sleepy little town, so...

Years ago, the cops were asking for a pay raise, the public voted against it. Suddenly, there was a flood of jaywalking tickets. Pretty funny little dust-up.

Pedestrians should, upon pedestrianizing, go to Manhattan for a three-day course in proper street-crossing technique. If they survive, they get their pedestrian license.

JFPO
JFPO

And the drivers have their heads up their asses too. Somebody needs to take his/her head of their ass already.

TheCredibleHulk
TheCredibleHulk topcommenter

@MattL11  

That reminds me, I need to stop on the way home for some unicorn milk.

MikeWestEast
MikeWestEast

I saw a mother in AM rush hour dragging her kid across Elm at Field Street while light was in flashing red/power loss mode.  Geez Louise lady!  6 lanes of oncoming traffic trying to get through intersection on legal stop and go and nothing coordinating the six lanes.  Walk up a block and use a working light.  Use your head and keep your child safe.

ScottsMerkin
ScottsMerkin topcommenter

@MikeWestEast  I definitely don't do that, but crossing in the crosswalk is a dangerous task downtown.  Go stand at Ross and Pearl during working hrs, holy fuck that's one dangerous intersection.  

What
What

@DOisDUMDUM ..I like how you added that last part.....no regard for safety or human life.  I know have it figured out that you and Ruddski are the same person. 

MikeWestEast
MikeWestEast

@ScottsMerkin @MikeWestEast Or the people that cross Ross in mid block east of the Cathedral?  Six lanes of two way traffic at dusk or night because they won't move their big and broadening behinds down the block to the light.  Since the Cathedral is right there, maybe they think they are covered however it goes.

JFPO
JFPO

I thought Ruddski was this guy too, for a while. Now I think he's Bruce Alger.

TheRuddSki
TheRuddSki topcommenter

@what

An anonymous little sniper. How cute

ScottsMerkin
ScottsMerkin topcommenter

@MikeWestEast @ScottsMerkin  there is a sign that says no crossing, right there.  But Chase provides a crossing guard who lets traffic out of the chase garage onto ross, and he usually lets people cross too, so I guess they feel since he let them cross while he is there, they can cross anytime.  Trust me, If Im getting hit by a car downtown, Im doing it in the crosswalk with the cross signal in my favor.  If I get hit, Im getting paid

TheRuddSki
TheRuddSki topcommenter

@JFPO

You're overthinking everything but the topic at hand,

FYI, I have never, nor would I ever, create a sockpuppet, but if I were to do so, I'd create the poster who goes as 'What" for obvious reasons. Dude cracks me up.

DOisDUMDUM
DOisDUMDUM

@TheRuddSki  I wonder if it's the mysteriously disappearing Jack Jett. He was obsessed with asking the same sorts of questions.

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