Houston area among the nation’s most dangerous metro-areas for pedestrians, study finds

Houston (Pixabay)

The Houston area is among the most dangerous metropolitan areas for pedestrians, a national study found.

The Houston-The Woodlands-Sugar Land metro area ranked 18th out of 100 metropolitan areas for pedestrian risk, according to a report by Smart Growth America, a Washington, D.C.-based nonprofit.

The report ranks the 100 most populous metro areas by their “Pedestrian Danger Index,” which accounts for differences in population and walking rates.

Between 2010 and 2019, 1,298 pedestrians were killed by drivers in the Houston area, according to the report. Nationwide, 53,435 people were hit and killed by drivers during the ten year period between 2010 and 2019.

The study ranked Texas the 10th most dangerous state for pedestrians.

“Our current approach to safety should be judged on the merits; and by any measure, it has been a complete failure,” said Beth Osborne, transportation director for Smart Growth America. “While transportation agencies have done much to avoid doing so, we urgently need to change the way we design and build roads to prioritize safety, not speed, as we currently do. In fact, the obsession with keeping traffic moving and avoiding delay at all costs in hopes of saving drivers mere seconds creates the very dangers highlighted in this report. This is why crosswalks are missing or too far apart, why lanes are too wide, why intersections are difficult to cross on foot, and why money can always be found to widen a road, even when adding sidewalks is deemed ‘too expensive.’”

The top 20 most dangerous metro areas are:

1) Orlando-Kissimmee-Sanford, FL

2) Bakersfield, CA

3) Memphis, TN-MS-AR

4) Palm Bay-Melbourne-Titusville, FL

5) Deltona-Daytona Beach-Ormond Beach, FL

6) North Port-Sarasota-Bradenton, FL

7) Jackson, MS

8) Tampa-St. Petersburg-Clearwater, FL

9) Lakeland-Winter Haven, FL

10) Jacksonville, FL

11) Cape Coral-Fort Myers, FL

12) Albuquerque, NM

13) Miami-Fort Lauderdale-Pompano Beach, FL

14) Greenville-Anderson, SC

15) Stockton-Lodi, CA*

16) Baton Rouge, LA

17) Birmingham-Hoover, AL

18) Houston-The Woodlands-Sugar Land, TX*

19) Atlanta-Sandy Springs-Alpharetta, GA*

20) El Paso, TX*

View the full report here.

About the Author:

Briana Zamora-Nipper joined the KPRC 2 digital team as a community associate producer in 2019. During her time in H-Town, she's covered everything from fancy Houston homes to tropical storms. Previously, she worked at Austin Monthly Magazine and KAGS TV, where she earned a Regional Edward R. Murrow award for her work as a digital producer.