The U.S. Is A Dangerous Place To Walk, Bike

Compared to Europe, the U.S. is more dangerous for cyclists and pedestrians.
August 30, 2003, 5am PDT | Connie Chung
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Researchers "found that cyclists and pedestrians in the United States were two to six times more likely to be killed than their German or Dutch counterparts. Per kilometer traveled, U.S. pedestrians were 23 times more likely to get killed than the occupants of a car, while bicyclists were 12 times more likely to be killed. In the United States in 2000, 662,000 bicyclists and 191,000 pedestrians ended up in emergency rooms. And 740 of those cyclists and 4,598 pedestrians died. While walking and cycling account for less than one-tenth of all urban trips in the United States, they account for one-third of all such trips in Germany and for half the trips in the Netherlands." The author of the study, a professor of urban planning at Rutgers University, suggests solutions such as better sidewalks, auto-free zones, more bike paths...,walking and cycling education programs in the schools...,driver training programs that make the motorist more sensitive to the dangers involved." Other options "include 'traffic calming' of residential neighborhoods (such as speed bumps and curves); extensive auto-free zones in city centers; the introduction of 'bicycle streets' where cyclists have the right of way over cars; bike systems that serve practical destinations, not just recreational attractions; and better enforcement of traffic regulations." Despite the statistics, the article notes that the probability of getting killed while walking and cycling "is still exceedingly low."

Thanks to Connie Chung

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Published on Friday, August 29, 2003 in Yahoo! Newswire
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