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Inland area ranks high on pedestrian danger, study finds

The Press-Enterprise: Inland area ranks high on pedestrian danger, study finds

By PE News on November 9, 2009 3:00 PM 

The Riverside-San Bernardino area is the most dangerous place for pedestrians in California regions with more than 1 million residents, a national study released today found.

The report, "Dangerous By Design," was written by Transportation for America and the Surface Transportation Policy Partnership — both advocates for safer streets and more bicycle and pedestrian investment. In it, researchers argue municipalities and states must spend more to protect walkers and cyclists by installing crosswalks and bicycle lanes. The authors also pointed to 43,000 pedestrian and cyclist deaths this decade that could have been avoided if officials considered safety a higher priority.

"With more than 76,000 Americans dying in the last 15 years, it’s the equivalent of a jumbo jet going down roughly every month, yet it receives nothing like that kind of attention," wrote Transportation for America spokesman Stephen Lee Davis.

Riverside ranked 18th in the country on the study’s safety index, the highest of any major California region. When metro areas of less than 1 million people are included, the Inland region ranks fifth in California, behind Bakersfield, Stockton, Redding and Fresno.

Since 2006, more than 275 people have been killed in the Inland area in pedestrian traffic fatalities.

Riverside and San Bernardino trail some of their peers in spending transportation money on pedestrian and cycling projects. The region spends 72 cents per person on bike paths, crosswalks and other amenities to lure commuters out of their cars. The spending places it 39th among the country’s 52 largest metro areas, but ahead of New York, Los Angeles and Dallas for per-person investment.