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Exploring the Relationship Between Pedestrian Crashes and Walkability

Authors: Rebekka Apardian*, University of Toledo, Ohio
Topics: Transportation Geography
Keywords: Transportation, walkability, Walk Score, pedestrian safety, traffic crashes
Session Type: Paper
Presentation File: No File Uploaded

The purpose of this paper is to explore the relationship between walkability and pedestrian crashes in U.S. cities. Pedestrian travel is a priority in transportation systems as communities promote equitable, sustainable, and healthy transportation alternatives. While more people are choosing walking in the past decade, pedestrian travel has not necessarily become safer. Between 2008 and 2017, pedestrian crashes have increased by 35 percent nationwide. As the most vulnerable user on the road, it’s vital that research is dedicated to understanding and addressing the risks that pedestrians face. As such, the concept of walkability has emerged as a way to measure the degree to which an environment facilitates walking. One of the most recent walkability measures is Walk Score, a free online database that calculates a walkability index for any location. Using Walk Score, the relationship between pedestrian crashes and walkability is explored. The goal is to understand if the objective walkability of an environment is associated with safe pedestrian travel. The results of this research can inform public policy and infrastructure developments in ways that improve safety outcomes.

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