- The Washington Times - Wednesday, August 6, 2014

The Washington area is in the middle of the road when it comes to pedestrian-vehicle deaths across the country, a new study found.

D.C. and the surrounding Beltway areas in Virginia and Maryland were ranked the 47th most dangerous place for pedestrians out of 104 metropolitan areas, according to the study by Governing magazine. Richmond was only a little safer at 50th, while Baltimore was more dangerous at number 22.

Governing, a nonpartisan politics website and magazine focused on state and local government, surveyed accident data for 22,000 pedestrian fatalities along the nation’s roadways between 2008 and 2012. They then ranked the 104 metropolitan areas from least to most safe based on the number of fatalities per 100,000 people.

The accidents are disproportionately affecting poorer areas of communities, the study said, finding that fatalities in poor neighborhoods are nearly double those in more affluent regions.

“Those in low-income areas without cars must walk to their destinations or public transit stops, increasing their exposure,” a press release from Governing said.

The study noted there is also often less pedestrian-friendly infrastructure in poor areas, including sidewalks, stop lights and crosswalks.

According to Governing’s statistics, there were nearly 400 pedestrian deaths in the D.C. area between 2008 and 2012, an average of about 1.4 fatalities per 100,000 people annually.

Florida was the most dangerous state, with cities there taking seven of the top ten spots. The worst? Daytona Beach, with 3.7 deaths per 100,000 people per year.

Because of its high population, New York City had the largest raw number of deaths over four years at 1,675. But it was only ranked 27th on the list when the number of fatalities was compared with the total population.

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