Wednesday, May 21, 2014

Cleveland is 10th safest city for pedestrian travel in the country

According to this article in CityLab, Cleveland is the 10th safest city for pedestrians walking on streets.

The authors of the study, called "Dangerous by Design 2014," assigned a "Pedestrian Death Index" number to each of the 51 largest metropolitan areas in the country (probably because one of the authors is from Rochester). The cryptic methodology behind the Pedestrian Death Index involves dividing the number of per-capita pedestrian deaths by the percentage of people who walk to work.

Worth noting in this study is that Greater Cleveland has the lowest number of pedestrian deaths per capita for all except one of the metro areas in the study (Minneapolis-St. Paul MSA). The only reason Cleveland gets bumped down to #10 is its relatively low number of pedestrian commuters--2.2% vs. 2.3%--an awfully trivial difference.

This study doesn't consider the number of pedestrians who take public transportation to work, who inevitably must walk on the streets and ought to be considered in the population. Here's a sample of the census data:

There's not much advantage to the Greater Cleveland statistics by using this method, as more people in, say, Pittsburgh, use the bus to get to work (probably because driving anywhere in that city is a hair-pulling nightmare). All things considered, the last-mile problem with public transportation necessitates a good deal of walking for all but a small percentage of the bus/train commuting population and ought to be considered in the number.

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