10 Most Dangerous Cities For Biking And Walking

We have become a nation of overweight screen addicts who would rather die than walk a couple of blocks. Everyone from Michelle Obama on down is desperate for a way to get Americans up and moving again. It turns out, a few well-placed sidewalks might do more than a decade of public information campaigns.

Most (but not all) of America’s major cities are extremely unfriendly to those who would rather bike or walk than take a car. This is due to the fact that we’d rather invest in the military and corporate welfare than our own infrastructure.

People can’t be expected to walk or bike in high traffic areas that lack adequate sidewalks, bike lanes and greenways. No one feels safe walking on the shoulder of a busy roadway or biking down a four-lane turnpike, but some cities are more fatal than others.

According to Transportation for America , these are the 10 most dangerous metropolitan areas in the United States:

1. Orlando/Kissimmee, Florida
2. Tampa/St. Petersburg/Clearwater, Florida
3. Jacksonville, Florida
4. Miami/Fort Lauderdale/Pompano, Florida
5. Riverside/San Bernardino/Ontario, California
6. Las Vegas/Paradise, Nevada
7. Memphis, Tennessee
8. Phoenix/Mesa/Scottsdale, Arizona
9. Houston/Sugar Land/Baytown, Texas
10. Dallas/Fort Worth/Arlington, Texas

Many of these cities have experienced explosive population growth over the last decade or so. Struggling to keep up with increased demand while the Federal and State governments continue to slash infrastructure budgets has led to a boom in highways while bike and foot-friendly development is virtually non-existent.

The funny thing is, failing to provide this infrastructure actually hurts our economy and discourages people from choosing certain cities as a place to live. Just take a look at this infographic from Momentum Mag that accompanied an article about how creating bike-friendly districts has caused business to boom in Memphis.

Creating more bike and pedestrian-friendly cities starts with us, the citizens. Connect with The League of American Bicyclists or Transportation for America to find out how you can join the fight for more walkable, bikeable cities.

 

Image via Thinkstock

122 comments

Jeff Keating
Past Member 2 years ago

I very much support bike- and walk-friendly communities, and am fortunate to live in one (Redlands, CA) but I have a few problems with this report.
First, it's contextually politicized, proffering a scenario that's fallacious on its face. This is not about a "choice" between defense spending/corporate welfare and bike lanes/sidewalks. Money for those things doesn't come from the same places. Residents pay for sidewalks if they want them, or they are part of bigger development/redevelopment projects funded through a variety of means. Bike lanes are the result of either city, county, state or federal funding, and usually a combination of three or four of those sources. There's no "bike lanes and/or bombers" pool of shared public money. The author is not comparing apples to apples. More to the point, is there some reason I can't be in favor of both a strong military AND bike lanes and sidewalks?
Second, I dispute the broad, tarring brush of a statement that we have become a nation of screen addicts who would rather die than walk a few blocks. This is absurd hyperbole designed to incense rather than inform. Obesity clearly is a national problem, as is the related sedentary lifestyle too many people live, and the negative health outcomes stemming from same. It's foolhardy to deny it's a serious problem. But 1) The whole nation is not screen-addicted and obese, not by a long shot, and 2) A smorgasbord of factors are at work there, not least of which is the growing economic dispar

Fred Krohn
Fred Krohn3 years ago

I note that several of those hazard zones are in states where the DMV has contracted Crackerjacks as their license distribution agents. Your license is the prize in the box...

Chloe M.
Chloe M.3 years ago

I knew Houston would be on that list. And then on the side of town where I live, people rather walk in the street than on the sidewalk. Silly.

paul m.
paul m.3 years ago

Allways remember a car is heavier than a bike....!!

Margarita G.
Margarita G.3 years ago

Noted! Thanks!

Noreen Niamath
Noreen Niamath3 years ago

My state has the top 4....the reason is that we have horrible public transportation so every one drives including the very young and the very old.

Nikhil D
Nikhil Dutta3 years ago

Im glad the list is not in my area

Svetlana B.
Svetlana B.3 years ago

Thanks for sharing

Ernie Miller
william Miller3 years ago

I wonder if Florida as something to do with the high # of tourists and them not paying attention to bikes why looking for their destination?