Historically Redlined Neighborhoods Have Higher Rates of Pedestrian Deaths, Study Says

The consequences of historic redlining continue to have consequences in the present day United States. Add another example to the list.

1 minute read

March 22, 2023, 5:00 AM PDT

By James Brasuell @CasualBrasuell


Pedestrian stoplight with green 'walk' silhouette lit up and blurry city buildings in background

Steve Lovegrove / Pedestrian stoplight

A study recently published by the American Journal of Public Health connects the discriminatory real estate practices of U.S. history to the poor pedestrian safety outcomes of contemporary life. “Historical redlining policy, initiated in the 1930s, has an impact on present-day transportation inequities in the United States,” reads the conclusion shared in the study’s abstract.

Kea Wilson picked up news of the study for Streetsblog USA, boosting the signal on the troubling findings of the report, several months after the study’s November publication. “[R]esearchers found that census tracts once marked as ‘hazardous’ or ‘grade D’ by the Home Owners’ Loan Corporation experienced a pedestrian death rate of 2.6 per 100,000 people between 2010 and 2019, compared to a rate of just 1.1 during the same period for tracts marked grade ‘A’ or ‘best,” according to Wilson’s summary of the study’s findings.

“The researchers stress that this simple and deeply racist policy helped ‘cement the racial wealth gap, that endures to this day, and remains associated with a cascade of unjust and deadly intergenerational impacts that have endured as well,” explains Wilson. Add pedestrian safety to the list that includes other contemporary public health risks, such as Covid spread, Covid fatalitiesfood insecurity, oil and gas facilities, air pollution, extreme heat, and housing inequality.  

Friday, March 17, 2023 in Streetsblog USA

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