Dallas is known for many wonderful things, but unfortunately, being pedestrian-friendly is not really one of them. Smart Growth America's 2014 Dangerous By Design report takes a look at where pedestrian fatalities happen and who is most at risk; the Dallas-Fort Worth-Arlington area ranks 12th in the nation when it comes to pedestrian danger. Between 2003 to 2012, 900 pedestrians were killed in our area—and many more were seriously injured.
None of the above statistics are obviously very good news, but there is still some hope for our cities. We are starting to see a few changes being made that could ultimately make Dallas a more enjoyable—and safe—place to commute by foot.
The Continental Bridge is no longer suitable for cars, but it has been converted into an outstanding pedestrian bridge. In addition to beautiful views, the bridge has a playground, lounge chairs, areas of shade, a meditation labyrinth, bocce court, and spray fountain. Bicyclists and pedestrians are able to travel on the Trinity Skyline Trail in the Trinity River basin between Sylvan Avenue and West Commerce Street, and make their way to the pedestrian bridge.
The City of Dallas also launched a Complete Streets Initiative back in June 2011 that they are continuing to slowly work on. Their goal is to build streets that are not just about the vehicles driving on them; they want streets that are safe and comfortable for everyone, whether they are traveling by car, bicycle, bus, wheelchair, or on foot. Like most good things, we hope these initiatives are worth waiting for.
Do you think that Dallas is becoming safer for pedestrians? Or do we still have a long way to go? Please feel free to share your thoughts with us in the comments section below.