Vulnerable Road Users Dying in Higher Numbers in Atlanta Area
ATLANTA, GA- Atlantamagazine.com writes that pedestrian death rates are approaching an all-time high across the country. The problem can be seen in Atlanta as well, where pedestrian and cyclist collisions rose by a whopping 53 percent between 2006 and 2015. Deadly accidents also increased by 26 percent during the same period.*
Safety advocates say the spike in fatalities is becoming a crisis. According to PEDS, which is a Georgia-based pedestrian advocacy group, the State will see another 1,100 deaths by the year 2022 if something does not change.
There is more than one reason for the increase, but the infrastructure is definitely one part of the problem. There are more people walking in the Atlanta area, but the roadways were not designed with foot traffic in mind. The roads were built to accommodate fast-moving vehicles.
Atlanta has joined a growing list of cities that are changing their outlook when it comes to fatal traffic accidents. Like New York, Austin, and L.A., Atlanta is shifting from a mentality that views a certain number of accidents as inevitable, to one that does not prioritize vehicle traffic over pedestrian safety.
These cities are looking to the Swedish model, titled "Vision Zero," and attempting to eliminate traffic-fatalities fully. The initiative does not view the solution as one fix, but as a multi-faceted approach, looking at infrastructure, laws, education, and other ways to make the roads safer.
One important factor is looking into areas that present the highest risks. In Atlanta, studies indicate that 71 percent of traffic fatalities took place on only six percent of the cities roads. In these high-risk areas, small improvements, and modest investments can create massive improvements to road safety.
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