Riegel: Why we remain so unfriendly to pedestrians

    Baton Rouge recently made another one of those dubious lists that highlights the bad things about places. This one, titled “Deadly by Design” and published by Smart Growth America, ranked Red Stick No.12 among the 20 deadliest cities for pedestrians in the U.S.

    Which is better, as Business Report Editor Stephanie Riegel details in her new column, than how Louisiana fared in the study: It cracked the top five, coming in as the nation’s fourth-deadliest state for those who routinely hoof it.

    The SGA study ranks cities and states based on their “pedestrian danger index,” which is derived by crunching the number of pedestrian fatalities on a per-capita basis with the share of people in that locale who walk to work.

    Those may not sound like alarmingly high numbers, she writes, given the myriad other public health crises and dangers that land us on the bottom of so many other lists. But it’s worse than most other places in the country and, really, there’s no excuse for anyone to lose their life crossing a street.

    So what’s the source of Baton Rouge’s pedestrian problem? Read the full column, where Riegel expands on how Baton Rouge has grown up to have too few, if any, “complete streets”—which are those that accommodate not only vehicles but also mass transit, cyclists and pedestrians. Send comments to editor@businessreport.com.

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