North Texas, particularly Dallas and Fort Worth, always has been big on vehicular traffic. One person, one car; and forget about carpooling.
Turns out that might be the result of self-preservation.
According to a study recently released by Transportation for America, the Dallas-Fort Worth-Arlington region ranks as the 10th most dangerous U.S. metropolitan area for pedestrians. The organization’s statistics show that, on average, 1.6 people per 100,000 are killed each year while walking.
The study, called Dangerous By Design 2011, placed the greater Orlando, Fla., area at the top of the pedestrian-fatality list with three people out of 100,000 killed annually.
Houston nudged Dallas for the No. 9 slot with two pedestrian deaths per 100,000 population.
Oddly, though, when you follow the Transportation for America site link to a section labeled “All state data,” Dallas-Fort Worth drops out of the top 10 and Houston moves up to No. 8.
Part of the problem might be natural selection at work. Not long ago at the Akard Street DART light rail stop in downtown Dallas, I heard the increasing-in-intensity shouts of a guy yelling, “Dude, Dude, DUDE,” at a man walking across the intersection, head down, attention riveted on texting. An incoming train passed so close to him, I swear, his shirt fluttered in the train-generated breeze.
Stay alert and aware of your surroundings, and you’ll likely be OK to walk.
Bruce Felps owns and operatesEast Dallas Times, an online community news outlet serving the White Rock Lake area. And here he thought walking was supposed to be good for you.
The views and opinions expressed here are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views of NBC, NBC 5, NBCDFW.com or its employees.