In 2010, 4,280 pedestrians were killed in the United States, according to the Centers for Disease Control, and another 70,000 were injured. That’s one death every two hours.
It’s impossible to quantify the human toll of traffic fatalities, but as David Nelson at Project for Public Spaces points out, AAA estimates that traffic crashes cost America $300 billion annually in the form of medical expenses, lost wages, pain and suffering, and other factors. That works out to three times the annual cost of congestion reported by the Texas Transportation Institute. But while we’re spending billions “fighting congestion” with expensive new roads, getting a handle on pedestrian deaths and injuries is almost a non-issue at your average state DOT.
The New York Times: Where ‘Share the Road’ Is Taken Literally
“Woonerf” is what the Dutch call a special kind of street or group of streets that functions as shared public space — for pedestrians, cyclists, children and, in some cases, for slow-moving, cautiously driven cars as well.
By most any fiscal or economic measure, Worcester outperforms Providence. But because of the so-called Renaissance, the revitalization of downtown Providence throughout the 1980s and 90s, Providence has attracted far more attention among urbanists and the national media than Worcester. There has never been a Worcester Renaissance.
So which city is the true urban success story? That depends on the extent to which one believes that downtown revitalization is the same as urban revitalization.
A study out of Nashville by Smart Growth America provides more evidence that building walkable development in existing communities is best for a city’s bottom line.
The study compared the costs of local services to each new development with the revenues returned. Overall, the urban, infill development was far and away the best value for municipalities.