After 34 Years of Complete Streets, Florida Still Deadly for Pedestrians

Florida’s incremental steps toward complete streets have saved thousands of lives, but still left it one of the most dangerous states to walk in.
April 19, 2018, 12pm PDT | Elana Eden
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Angie Schmitt shares research on the impacts of Florida's 1978 complete streets policy, which mandated the development of new bike and pedestrian infrastructure statewide.

The good news: Researchers found that in the three decades since the law was passed, pedestrian deaths in Florida have dropped by 60 percent.

"Pedestrian deaths fell faster in Florida after the complete streets law was adopted than they would have if the state had tracked trends in peer states or the U.S. as a whole," Schmitt writes. "The difference added up to between 3,500 and 4,000 lives saved over a 30-year period."

But despite comparatively strong policies and substantial improvement, Florida still consistently ranks as one of the most dangerous states for pedestrians.

"Other state policies worked against the goals of the complete streets law," Schmitt explains. And an embedded car culture at the Department of Transportation kept state projects oriented toward motor vehicles.

The new study comes from a team of University of Georgia researchers led by Jamila Porter.

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Published on Wednesday, April 18, 2018 in Streetsblog USA
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