Walking While Black: The Racial Disparity in Pedestrian Fatalities

Pedestrians of color are more likely to be killed in traffic crashes.

February 19, 2017, 5:00 AM PST

By Elana Eden


New York City Pedestrians

Drop of Light / Shutterstock

Traffic fatalities have been rising overall across the United States, and the percentage of pedestrians killed is growing. But the impact of these trends is not evenly felt across demographics: Pedestrians of color are more likely to be killed in traffic.

NPR's Morning Edition explores a study in Las Vegas that found that cars were less likely to stop for a black pedestrian than a white one crossing the street—suggesting that driver bias is a real factor in the racial distribution of traffic fatalities.

Correspondent Shankar Vedantam says researchers have been aware of this issue for "quite some time," and there's more research to be done. A larger study could yield additional reasons for the disparity—for instance, "that people of color are just more likely to be pedestrians." When that factor is controlled for, another could be that "minority neighborhoods have less safe traffic intersections"—making a case for focusing on racial equity in transportation planning.

Wednesday, February 15, 2017 in NPR

Indian Trail, North Carolina

Four ‘Low-Hanging Fruit’ Zoning Reforms

An excerpt from the latest book on zoning argues for four approaches to reform that can immediately improve land use regulation in the United States.

June 26, 2022 - M. Nolan Gray

View south along Interstate 45 (North Freeway) from the ramp between westbound Interstate 10 and southbound Interstate 45 in Houston, Harris County, Texas

Houston Apartments To Be Demolished for Freeway Widening

Despite a federal hold on the controversial freeway widening project, the Texas Department of Transportation is pushing ahead with the demolition of an apartment complex in downtown Houston.

July 5, 2022 - Houston Chronicle

Car Traffic

San Francisco Just Ended Single-Family Zoning

The San Francisco Board of Supervisors voted to Tuesday to eliminate single-family zoning, but pro-development advocates say additional changes are needed to unleash a wave of construction.

June 29, 2022 - San Francisco Chronicle

Bakersfield and Fresno Sign

California Budget Includes $4.2 Billion for High-Speed Rail

The recently approved state budget directs $4.2 billion in bond funding to the Bakersfield-to-Merced leg of California’s long-awaited high-speed rail project.

3 hours ago - Sfist

Joe Biden exits a limousine, surrounded by security and staffers, on the way to the Marine One helicopter on a pad near the water in New York City.

Biden’s Environmental Legacy (So Far)

President Biden campaigned on promises to restore many of the environmental regulations rolled back by the previous administration, while promising new efforts to tackle environmental injustice and climate change.

4 hours ago - The Washington Post

Police officer with POLICE on the back of their vest with police car in the background

Help! Not Police! Crisis Responses That Avert Police Calls

Cities, court systems, citizen groups, and affordable housing operators are crafting ways of responding to emergencies that reduce the risk of negative police interactions.

5 hours ago - Shelterforce Magazine

New Updates on The Edge

HUD's Office of Policy Development and Research

International Real Estate Strategies and Deal Negotiation

Harvard Graduate School of Design Executive Education

Affordable Housing: Principles for Changing Domestic and Global Markets

Harvard Graduate School of Design Executive Education

Urban Design for Planners 1: Software Tools

This six-course series explores essential urban design concepts using open source software and equips planners with the tools they need to participate fully in the urban design process.

Hand Drawing Master Plans

This course aims to provide an introduction into Urban Design Sketching focused on how to hand draw master plans using a mix of colored markers.