Pedestrian Fatalities Reach Pinnacle, Engineers Can Help

Pedestrian fatalities on our roads have hit a 25-year high, reports Route Fifty – and the solution may be in more targeted engineering.

For the last two years, nearly 6,000 pedestrians have been killed on U.S. roadways – up 46 percent since the Great Recession. States like Florida, which have seen record numbers of pedestrian fatalities, are changing the way they examine trouble spots by using mapping software to identify specific risk factors:

“Engineering is a proven way to improve safety outcomes,” said Richard Retting, general manager of the firm Sam Schwartz Engineering and author of the pedestrian fatality report released by the Governors Highway Safety Administration. “Florida has some of the best professional planners and engineers working on solving these pedestrian safety problems.”

Read the article here.

Yesterday, Governor Larry Hogan signed into law SB 407/HB 535, which creates a grant program within the Transportation Trust Fund for local governments to receive funds, in addition to their highway user revenues, to design and engineer “Complete Streets.”

“Complete Streets” embodies the principle that roads should be designed to accommodate not only single-occupancy vehicles, but also pedestrians, bicyclists, public transit, and other modes of transportation. When implemented well and correctly, they can keep all road users safer, alleviate congestion, provide better access for businesses, and improve air quality. MACo worked closely with the bill sponsors to ensure that this grant program can serve counties’ needs.