A new report shows that cities across the country, including Fort Worth, are adopting safe streets policies in response to rising pedestrian death rates.
According to a report released by CityHealth, cities are adopting Complete Streets policies that allow residents to safely walk, bike, drive, and take public transit around their cities.
These laws promote transportation networks that ensure safe, convenient methods of getting around and staying active for residents.
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As Americans look for alternatives to public transit and opportunities to safely exercise outdoors amid the COVID-19 pandemic, street safety has become especially important, the City of Fort Worth said.
CityHealth's new report includes findings from an assessment of the 40 largest cities in the nation. The assessment gave Fort Worth and 28 other cities gold medals for their Complete Streets policies.
According to the City of Fort Worth, the number of pedestrians killed in the U.S. in the past decade has increased by 35% with a sharp increase beginning in 2009.
More walking Americans were killed by car in 2016 and 2017 than any other year since 1990. The total number of other traffic deaths has declined by 6%, but pedestrian deaths represent a larger share of all traffic deaths, increasing from 12% to 16% over the last decade, the City of Fort Worth said.
The City of Fort Worth’s Complete Streets Policy was adopted in 2016 and promotes a transparent process in order to achieve a network of transportation facilities for all roadway users.
Fort Worth’s Complete Streets policy is part of the Master Thoroughfare Plan and Active Transportation Plan. These plans help to guide the development of the city’s transportation network.
A Complete Streets Implementation Plan was finished in 2019, and its recommendations are intended to provide process improvements for developer, capital, and maintenance projects, the City of Fort Worth said.
CityHealth’s assessment of Complete Streets policies looks for the presence of a policy and a compliance requirement. It also looks to see if the policy accommodates pedestrians, cyclists, motorists, and public transit vehicles, as well as individuals of all ages and abilities.