Walking to and from transit stops in downtown Atlanta, few pedestrians realize the extent of the risk of being struck by a car. Encouraging citizens to use public transit is a great value to society. Transit often results in reductions in pollution, decreased traffic congestion, and opening up new opportunities for those who could not otherwise afford a car. However, the benefits of public transit are reduced when pedestrian safety is at risk. Unfortunately, the number of pedestrian accidents in the Atlanta area is on the rise. A local group is now aiming to reduce these risks.
Pedestrian Accidents Increase in 2014
According to a new article released by local organization Pedestrians Educating Drivers on Safety, 29 people have already been killed in Atlanta since the beginning of the year after being hit by a vehicle. Many of these accidents occurred while walking to a transit stop. Transit is known as the middle leg of two walking trips. Typically, pedestrians use transit to transport them across town. Many of these trips begin and end with walking. Today, pedestrian accidents have risen to make up over 15 percent of Georgia’s traffic fatalities.
What Can Be Done to Improve Pedestrian Safety
PEDS has made the “Safe Routes to Transit” initiative a top priority in its pursuit of a safer and more accessible metro Atlanta area for all pedestrians. The organization notes that many programs and technologies already exist that can save lives and prevent injuries.
Among these tools are the following:
- Safe Routes to Transit toolkits prepared by PEDS to describe and compare safety treatments and identify issues that call for increased collaboration among various agencies.
- Increased investment in safe crossings.
- Revising transportation standards to consider safety as an equal importance to that of vehicular capacity.
- Measuring the cost of pedestrian injuries and fatalities to better allocate funds in order to improve safety.
- Installing median refuge islands.
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