Local News

Study Shows Walking In The Triangle Can Be Hazardous To Your Health

Posted June 16, 2000

— A leisurely stroll can be a big risk in the Triangle. A new report ranks the area as one of the most dangerous places in America for pedestrians.

A study by The Surface Transportation Policy project called Mean Streets 2000 ranked the Triangle as the 23rd most dangerous place for pedestrians. The ranking is based on the number of pedestrians killed relative to the number of people walking.

Charles Zegeer, a researcher atUNC's Highway Safety Research Center, says high volumes of traffic at high speed and vulnerable pedestrians do not mix.

"One of the important factors is planning," Zegeer says. "Whenever you have these sprawl areas where there is pedestrian activity and pedestrians are trying to cross the streets that, in itself, creates a serious problem."

The Triangle's urban sprawl is not going away. Zegeer says sidewalks and medians can help.

Researchers at UNC's Safety Institute are looking for new ways to make walking safer in the Triangle. Tampa, Fla. was ranked the most dangerous place for pedestrians in the country.

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