The national policy organization combined pedestrian fatality data with census numbers to formulate the report, which calculates a Pedestrian Danger Index (PDI) for each city.
OKC sustained 167 total pedestrian deaths from 2000 to 2009 for a PDI of 89.5. By contrast, the metro area of Orlando-Kissimmee, Fla., suffered 557 deaths over the same time period, with a top-ranked PDI of 255.4.
OKC has made strides since being named America’s least-walkable city by Prevention magazine three years ago. The local walkability conversation ramped up after consultant Jeff Speck was tapped by Mayor Mick Cornett to develop solutions to the city’s pedestrian issues. Speck challenged citizens to improve OKC’s walkability crisis by 2015, if not sooner.
In December 2009, OKC voters approved the MAPS 3 program, which includes $40 million for around 50 miles of new trails and $10 million for roughly 70 miles of new sidewalks. The trails are projected to be completed in 2017, while the sidewalks are expected to be finished in 2014.
Oklahoma had the 18th highest PDI (67.2) among states nationwide with 480 pedestrian fatalities from 2000 to 2009. Florida was No. 1 with a PDI of 182.8 and 5,163 total deaths during that time frame.
As solutions, the Transportation for America study recommends the following provisions in the next federal transportation spending bill:
•Retain dedicated federal funding for the safety of people on foot or on bicycle.
•Adopt a national complete streets policy.
•Fill in the gaps with complete networks of sidewalks, bicycle paths and trails so that residents can travel safely throughout an area.
•Commit a fair share for safety.
•Hold states accountable for creating communities that are safe for walking.
Photo by Mark Hancock