Wednesday, December 14, 2005

Hispanic pedetrians at greater risk in South reports in this article that Hispanic pedestrians in the South are at greater risk of accidents due to poverty, cultural issues, and Southern states' relative inattention to sidewalk design and safety. Tennessee, however, is one of three Southern states in which African Americans have higher pedetrian fatality rates than Hispanics.

"...Hispanics are disproportionately victims across the South. They die in pedestrian-vehicle accidents at a higher rate than any other racial or ethnic group in every Southern state except Arkansas, Florida and Tennessee, where only blacks die at a higher rate, according to 2002 data reported by states to the federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention."

"The highest pedestrian fatality rates for Hispanics were in Mississippi, with 4.72 pedestrian deaths per 100,000 Hispanics; Alabama, with 4.71 per 100,000; and South Carolina, with 4.62 per 100,000."

"Critics blame poor urban planning. As Southern cities and suburbs expanded rapidly in recent decades, planners have focused more on resolving traffic congestion and other growth issues than ensuring pedestrian safety, said Sally Flocks, president of Atlanta-based Pedestrians Educating Drivers on Safety."

Sidewalks have been a hot topic in Nashville since the initial campaign of Nashville Mayor Bill Purcell, in which he promised to improve the city's sidewalks as a quality of life initiative. The Nashville sidewalk project is in full swing, as reported by the Nashville City Paper in this article about Hillsboro Village.

Surrounding cities have found the same problems with sidewalk policy as Nashville, including piecemeal construction, as reported in this article in the Tennessean.

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