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FLORENCE’S PEDESTRIAN DANGER INDEX NEARLY SIX TIMES NATIONAL AVERAGE

This story was originally posted on the SC Livable Communities Alliance website. See the original article by clicking here.

The National Complete Streets Coalition released Dangerous by Design 2019, their biannual report on pedestrian safety, and the scores for Florence and South Carolina, overall, are especially startling.

SC is the 10th most dangerous state for pedestrians by the pedestrian danger index (PDI).  Florence has a PDI of 310, which is nearly 3 times the state average and almost 6 times the national average.  South Carolina, overall, has a PDI of 107, which is nearly double the national average of 55.3.

Daily Record photograph by Steve Davis Cindy Ward tried to navigate Southeast Eighth Street in Bentonville Friday afternoon while walking to her son’s house. A lack of sidewalks on the major artery usually forces pedestrians to walk in drainage ditches to avoid the dangerous prospect of sharing the roadway with automotive traffic.

Rural areas of South Carolina are particularly impacted.  According to a 2018 report by Equitable Cities, 6 of the top 10 SC counties with the highest pedestrian crash rates, are very rural counties (< 90,000 people).  This shows an unmet need for safer road designs.

Older Americans and people of color are disproportionately impacted. Between 2008-2017, adults over 50 were 6.6% more likely to be struck and killed while walking compared to people under 50. Furthermore, while 28% of SC is African American, 45% of our bicycle and pedestrian injuries and fatalities are among African Americans (Equitable Cities).

“When we don’t design streets for everyone using them, everyone in the community suffers” states Corrine Reed from the SC Livable Communities Alliance. “When streets are built for everyone – people walking, driving, biking, and busing – communities are safer and more livable, even for those who drive”.

The SC Livable Communities Alliance (SCLCA) is leading the charge to adopt a complete streets policy in the SC Department of Transportation (SCDOT).  Multimodal “complete” streets are designed so that everyone on the road can travel safely, regardless of age, ability, or transportation choice.  Over 80 organization leaders, mayors, and business owners have signed the SCLCA policy letter of support in favor of safer streets.  For more information, please visit the Alliance’s website at sclivablecommunities.org.

four photos of unsafe road conditions for people walking and biking with the caption "are distracted pedestrians really the problem?"
fouDaily Record photograph by Steve Davis Cindy Ward tried to navigate Southeast Eighth Street in Bentonville Friday afternoon while walking to her son’s house. A lack of sidewalks on the major artery usually forces pedestrians to walk in drainage ditches to avoid the dangerous prospect of sharing the roadway with automotive traffic.

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