In the past, it often took a tragic accident before a community would make improvements for pedestrians such as building sidewalks, installing safe pedestrian crossings, using traffic calming treatments, and providing safe routes to school. But that is changing, because people want to live in healthy neighborhoods where they can walk, bicycle, and socialize and are demanding that transportation engineers and planners no longer overlook the most basic form of transportation – walking.
In an estimation for the 2000 Census, the percentage of journeys to work by foot in Hillsborough County was approximately 3.0 percent for workers 16 years and over. According to the 1995 nationwide Personal Transportation Survey, which covers trips of all kinds, 5.4 percent of trips in the country were by walking and for the following purpose. In addition to the public’s demand for better facilities, the alarmingly high number of pedestrian crashes in Hillsborough County has grabbed the attention of decision makers who can help make a difference.
In 2001, there were 577 pedestrian/motorist injuries reported by law enforcement agencies and 40 pedestrians killed in motor vehicle crashes in Hillsborough County.
This report analyzes those traffic crash reports, and the outcome of this analysis will help prioritize improvements that can increase the safety of pedestrians, thereby reducing these disturbing numbers. Planners and engineers should strive to be proactive and identify safety problems in an area before crashes occur. It is hoped that the analysis in this report will be useful in avoiding even one crash before it happens.