Last January, GOPC provided an update on state counts of pedestrian and bicyclist fatalities in 2017. The blog ran alongside the release of the Smart Growth America (SGA) Dangerous By Design 2019 Report, which detailed nationwide trends in pedestrian deaths. Recently, SGA, in collaboration with AARP, has made available state-specific reports for pedestrian safety.
Between 2008 and 2017, drivers struck and killed 1,058 people walking in Ohio. Over the past decade, the number of people struck and killed by drivers while walking increased by 35.4% nationwide, and in Ohio, pedestrian deaths increased by 43.4% during this time period. SGA calculates a Pedestrian Danger Index (PDI), which measures the number of people struck and killed while walking, controlling for population size and walking rates. Based on a PDI score of 39.6 over the 2008-2017 time period, Ohio ranked as the 26th most dangerous state for people walking.
The state report goes further to rank the most dangerous metro areas for people walking in Ohio. Surprisingly, smaller metros ranked were just as likely to have high PDI scores compared to their larger counterparts. This trend was similarly observed in states like Massachusetts and Colorado. The state of Ohio has been supporting local communities as they work to make roadways safer for all users; 20 cities and four MPOs across the state have now adopted some sort of Complete Streets policy.
A uniform, statewide active transportation policy would go a long way towards reducing pedestrian fatalities and injuries not just in large and mid-sized metros, but additionally in small-city and rural settings. Adoption of a statewide active transportation policy has been and remains a priority for GOPC. To learn more about these policies and the impact they could have on Ohio, be sure to review our policy platform and issues areas.