"Transportation for America," a not-for-profit that promotes sustainable transportation solutions, recently reported that over the past 15 years, 75,000 people in America have been killed while crossing or walking along our city streets. One might blame dangerous drivers or reckless pedestrains, but actually the study pins most of the blame on poor design.
"In fact, however, an overwhelming proportion (of deaths) share a similar factor: They occurred along roadways that were dangerous by design, streets that were engineered for speeding cars and made little or no provision for people on
foot, in wheelchairs or on a bicycle."
The study authors provide several design solutions including traffic calming measures, the "Safe Routes to School" programs and compact development. They also believe that in order to fix the problem, a larger piece of the transportation pie needs to go to pedestrian measures.
Check out the article, Dangerous by Design, and see where your city ranks. An excellent national resource for pedestrain issues includes America Walks, a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization that leads a national coalition of local advocacy groups dedicated to promoting walkable communities.