Low on the “Pedestrian Danger Index”

Brent Finnegan -- November 12th, 2009

According to a report released earlier this week by Transportation for America, the Harrisonburg metro area ranks lowest in the state on the Pedestrian Danger Index.

The report takes into account pedestrian deaths from 2007 – 2008, so does not include the hit-and-run death of Sherry Anderson or Dale May earlier this year.

We’ve written about local pedestrian/walkability issues here before, but haven’t always drawn the same conclusions that TFA report draws. But yesterday, WSVA reported that a slightly different study ranks Harrisonburg second in the state for walking to work.

Numbers in a pedestrian safety study released this week show 4.8 percent of the 118-thousand people in the Harrisonburg metropolitan area use nothing but their legs to get to work. Only in Charlottesville does a higher percentage of residents walk to their jobs.

Danville was at the bottom (or top) of both lists, with the most bike/ped fatalities per capita, while Washington-Arlington-Alexandria had 186 bike/ped fatalities.

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7 Responses to “Low on the “Pedestrian Danger Index””

  1. Nicholas Detweiler-Stoddard says:

    What constitutes the “Harrisonburg metropolitan area” (in which 118,000 live)?

    Of the 11 VA “Metro areas,” only Danville is smaller (and had four deaths to our one). The number of deaths per year is generally so small that having two, as we did in the past year, would rocket us up in the rankings! For this reason, this one year study is not as accurate a picture as a decade long assessment would be.

  2. Agreed, Nicholas. I suspect that if this same report were to come out next year, DC metro standings won’t change much, but Harrisonburg’s certainly will.

  3. Nicholas Detweiler-Stoddard says:

    cf report: Total federal transportation funds available in VA, 2.72 billion; percentage used for pedestrian projects, 0.3%

    Per capita federal expenditure on ped projects in H’burg: 29 cents (above statewide average of 22 cents)

  4. Jamie Smith says:

    Boy, this is great! Eddie and the gang are probably ordering new signs for the entrances to the city!
    How much taxpayer money is wasted on studies such as this?

  5. Nicholas Detweiler-Stoddard says:

    Jamie, as far as I can tell, Transportation For America is a private coalition not funded through tax dollars.

  6. Karl says:

    The Harrisonburg MSA is just the city and Rockingham County (and the towns within).

  7. Jamie Smith says:

    A waste is a waste!

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