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New York Area Scores High with Pedestrian Safety and 10th Lowest Pedestrian Danger Index in Nation

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Pedestrian Crossing SignThe New York City area, surprisingly, ranked as one of the safest metropolitan areas in the country for pedestrians in a recent report. According to Dangerous by Design 2016, the New York-Newark-Jersey City NY-NJ-PA area came in 95th out of 104 cities for pedestrian safety. This means pedestrians are safer in only nine other large cities nationwide.

In 2016, the city saw 1.62 deaths per 100,000 residents. But because of the high number of on-foot commuters in and around NYC, the report ranks the area’s Pedestrian Danger Index, or PDI, at only 27.0. The national average comes in at 52.5.

What is the Pedestrian Danger Index?

The Pedestrian Danger Index is a measurement created by the National Complete Streets Coalition. This coalition, part of Smart Growth America, compiles and publishes the Dangerous by Design report. Dangerous by Design ranks more than 100 U.S. cities and all 50 states based on the safety of pedestrians on their roads.

PDI offers a better way to compare one city or state to another. Rather than just looking a raw numbers of fatal accidents, PDI takes into account the percentage of commuters in the area who walk to work, in addition to looking at how many people died in car versus pedestrian accidents.

What trends can we see in the Dangerous by Design report?

New York State ranks as one of the safest states for pedestrians, with a PDI that rates as the 38th lowest out of all 50 states. The state lost 1.53 pedestrian lives per 100,000 residents in 2016. While this is somewhat high compared to other states, New York also has a much larger number of commuters who walk to work than many other states. This is one reason it scores a PDI of just 24. This is less than half of the national average PDI: 52.5. 

New York State has improved its PDI in every Dangerous by Design report since 2011, including a 0.5 point decrease between 2014 and 2016. The state’s PDI each year was:

  • 2011: 26.6
  • 2014: 24.5
  • 2016: 24.0

The PDI for the New York City area also decreased every year since 2011, with a 1.4 point drop from 2014 to 2016. The city’s PDI was:

  • 2011: 30.4
  • 2014: 28.4
  • 2016: 27.0

How can New York continue to improve its PDI?

A lack of pedestrian-friendly infrastructure plays a huge role in many fatal accidents involving commuters on foot. By planning, designing, and building streets with commuters of all types in mind, we can eliminate many of these deaths. This is the goal of the National Complete Streets Coalition, which publishes the Dangerous by Design report, as well as the New York State Department of Transportation’s complete streets initiative.

What should I do if I suffer injuries in a New York State pedestrian accident?

If you suffered an injury in a car versus pedestrian accident in Long Island, the New York pedestrian accident attorneys at Goldstein & Bashner can help you file a claim for compensation to cover your medical bills, lost wages and more. Call us today at 516-874-4362 to schedule your free, no obligation case evaluation.

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