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Philadelphia Planners and Police Looking for Pedestrian Safety Solutions

Pedestrian safety in Philadelphia is a mixed bag. While it can often be a pleasant, pedestrian-friendly city, recent pedestrian deaths have highlighted the ongoing need to improve the safety of the Philadelphia's sidewalks and streets.

"Philadelphia likes to think of itself as a pedestrian-friendly place, with good sidewalks and short, lively blocks, and yet its safety record for pedestrians still leaves something to be desired," writes Philadelphia Inquirer Architecture Critic Inga Saffron.

"On one hand, Philadelphia came in fourth nationally in this year's Walk Score rankings. Thanks to new countdown signals at intersections, fresh striping at crosswalks, and traffic cameras to deter speeding, crashes involving pedestrians have dropped 10 percent since 2007."

"But pedestrian fatalities in Philadelphia still account for a far higher proportion of traffic deaths than they do elsewhere in the United States: 32 percent here vs. 14 percent nationally. Philadelphia has the highest number of pedestrian fatalities of any county in Pennsylvania, and the total rose by three in 2013, to 37, according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration."

Saffron assigns some of the blame to planning policies as well as the lack of organization among pedestrians, but notes that the city's police have recognized pedestrian safety as a quality of life issue and are stepping up enforcement by means other than writing jaywalking tickets.

The post also includes a list of the ten corridors in Philadelphia that had the most pedestrian-involved accidents. 

Full Story: Changing Skyline: Pedestrian safety is becoming a focus


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