Can Sun Belt cities go from danger zones to pedestrian-friendly?

A pedestrian in Memphis, Tennessee, is nearly 17 times more likely to die in a traffic crash than one in Boston. The 2022 death rate for pedestrians in the Home of the Blues was 13.5 per 100,000 people, while Boston’s was 0.77.

Nine of the 10 most dangerous states for pedestrians are in the Sun Belt, according to a 2022 Smart Growth America report. The populations of Sun Belt metropolitan areas are increasing faster than those in the rest of the country, according to a 2020 study from the Kinder Institute for Urban Research at Rice University. In these “auto-oriented” cities, low-income populations also are growing faster than in the rest of the nation, and low-income neighborhoods “are located in inconvenient places far from jobs and hard to serve with transit,” the report says…

Here’s how three Sun Belt cities are taking steps to level the playing field for pedestrian road users…

Tucson dedicates $150 million to street safety…

Jacksonville addresses ‘areas of persistent poverty’…

Los Angeles lowers speed limits

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