A new study from Smart Growth America ranks Albuquerque second in the nation for most pedestrian fatalities while New Mexico ranks first in the U.S from 2016-20.
When it comes to the top 20 metros, the only place worse than Albuquerque is Daytona Beach, Florida. Older adults and people walking in low-income neighborhoods were also struck and killed at much higher rates than other populations in 2020 with black and Native Americans being killed at the highest rates. More than 6,500 people were struck and killed while walking in 2020, an average of nearly 18 per day, and a 4.5% increase over 2019.
The study explains that the city’s streets are dangerous by design and that low-income areas are especially susceptible to fatal pedestrian accidents because the basic infrastructures are not the same. The areas of Coors and I-40 as well as Central from San Mateo to Tramway are the highest concentrated locations for pedestrian deaths in the city.
Smart Growth America said, “Low-income communities are significantly less likely to have access to parks and other opportunities for safe recreational walking and are less likely to have sidewalks, marked crosswalks, and street design to support safer, slower speeds. Lower-income neighborhoods are also much more likely to contain major arterial roads built for high speeds and higher traffic volumes at intersections, exacerbating dangerous conditions for people walking.”
The result in 2020 was a significant increase in all traffic fatalities, even with less driving overall due to the pandemic.
“When American transportation engineers design streets, they start the process using the values of the engineering profession. But they never stop to consider that these core values might not be shared by most of society, often failing to recognize that they even have underlying values at all. For the engineer, it’s just standard practice, and it leads to streets that are ‘dangerous by design,’” the study explained.
Here is a video about why this has been occurring more in certain metro areas.