ICYMI - on September 14th, 2023 Ecopia's Troy Simpson, AICP hosted a compelling session about transportation equity and Vulnerable Road Users. This deep dive webinar explored how a single, comprehensive transportation network dataset can be used to analyze conditions for a multitude of Vulnerable Road User types, empowering planners to maximize public investments for a safer and more inclusive transportation system for all.
Keep reading to learn more about this can’t-miss session for transportation planners, civil engineers, and other geospatial professionals improving pedestrian safety in US communities, and check out the recording.
Transportation safety & the role of geospatial data
The last decade has been marked by a troubling increase in the number and rate of pedestrian fatalities in the US. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, there were 7,388 pedestrian fatalities on US roads in 2021, the highest number observed in 40 years. That figure comes to a death rate of 2.2 per 100,000 people, the highest observed in 30 years.
While some attribute these figures to increased pedestrian activity and vehicle speed during the COVID-19 pandemic, this is not an experience shared globally. Only three OECD member countries reported increased pedestrian death rates in 2020 following initial pandemic lockdowns: Ireland, Switzerland, and the United States.
This is not the first time in history that nations have seen a significant increase in pedestrian deaths. Rapidly increasing rates of automobile ownership coupled with inadequate infrastructure controls in the industrial era US led to the First National Conference on Street and Highway Safety in 1924.