Nearly 500 pedestrians were killed by Baltimore motorists between 2002 and 2013. That’s way too many people (and one reason we appreciate efforts like the Johns Hopkins pedestrian safety initiative). But believe it or not, we’re actually a much safer city than many other places… like Florida. Oh, Florida.
According to the Dangerous by Design 2014 study, the top four metro areas for pedestrian deaths are all in Florida: Orlando, Tampa, Jacksonville, and Miami (in that order). In contrast, the five safest cities for pedestrians are generally big coastal cities with well-developed public transit: Boston, Pittsburgh, Seattle, New York City, and San Francisco. Out of the 51 metro areas studied, Baltimore ranked a respectable 28th.
Part of this is intuitive. In cities where more people commute by foot, bike, or bus, drivers get used to keeping an eye out for non-vehicular travel. But Safe Streets also notes that sprawl can be another major feature in high pedestrian death rates, because speed limits are generally higher in sprawl-y areas — and high speed crashes are more likely to result in pedestrian deaths.
Read more interesting findings from the study here at City Lab.