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American roads are designed to be deadly

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The pedestrian death toll on American roads is rising. In 2020, more than 6,500 people were struck and killed while walking along roads in the U.S., up from about 6,200 the year before, and an increase of more than 2,000 compared with 2010. “Dangerous by Design,” a recent report from the advocacy group Smart Growth America, lays the bulk of the blame on the way those roads are designed.

In 2020, 60% of all pedestrian deaths occurred on what are officially known as “non-interstate arterial highways” (the four- to six-lane avenues that form the major gridlines of American cities). From subtle environmental cues that encourage unsafe driving to infrastructure that makes crossing streets treacherous, roads in the U.S. are rife with built-in danger, according to Beth Osborne, vice president of transportation at Smart Growth America.

[Photo: courtesy Smart Growth America]“Each lane is wide, the road is wide, they’re straight, there aren’t a lot of places where you’re supposed to........

© Fast Company

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