Philly Gets $500K to Improve Pedestrian Safety

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    NEWSLETTERS

    Philadelphia received a grant totaling $525,000 to improve pedestrian safety through expanded public education and enforcement initiatives.

    The $1.6 million grant from the U.S. Department of Transportation's National Highway Traffic Safety Administration was split between Philly, New York and Louisville as part of the department's "Everyone is a Pedestrian" campaign, which aims to stymie the rise of pedestrian deaths across the country. 

    In 2012, 31 pedestrians -- or 29 percent of the city's total traffic fatalities -- were killed in car crashes throughout Philadelphia, according to the latest data from the NHTSA.

    "We reduced pedestrian involved accidents in Philadelphia by 10 percent between 2007 and 2012, but our work is far from done," said Mayor Michael Nutter.

    The grant will be used to increase policy visibility and ticketing during high-risk hours for pedestrians in 20 high-crash locations throughout Philly. Money will also be dedicated towards a marketing campaign and additional police training.

    "These funds are going to help make Philadelphia a national model for pedestrian safety efforts," Nutter said.

    The Mayor's Office of Transportation and Utilities worked with PennDOT's Highway Safety Office to update Philly's Pedestrian Safety Plan, which was the basis of the city's grant application.

    New York was awarded $805,801 to address drivers who speed and do not yield to pedestrians in crosswalks. Louisville received $307,000 to create safe walking routes and an education program for school-aged children.

    "These are parents, these are children, these are our fathers and mothers and grandparents who are being affect by traffic crashes when they're in their most vulnerable state," said David Friedman, the acting head of the NHTSA. "They don't have two tons of metal, glass and plastic surrounding them."

    There were 4,743 pedestrian deaths in the U.S., an increase of over 6 percent from the previous year, according to a new NHTSA report released on Friday. The number of pedestrian deaths increased every year since 2009.

    California had the highest number of pedestrian fatalities with 612 deaths in 2012, followed by Texas (478) and Florida (476). Nearly three-quarters of pedestrian deaths took place in urban areas and 70 percent occured at non-intersections. This means jaywalkers were at a higher risk of dying than those who cross at proper intersections.

    The report also breaks down statistics by age, gender and time of day. Pedestrians ages 65 or older accounted for 20 percent of fatalities and about 9 percent of injuries. Nearly 70 percent of those killed were male and 32 percent of fatalities occur at night, according to the report, which includes data curated from the census bureau.

    Scroll down to see how other cities stack up:


    Sources: Census Bureau, NHTSA