The Charlotte Observer performed an analysis of N.C. Department of Transportation Data from 2005 to 2011 and found that distracted drivers, jaywalkers, and inadequate sidewalks and crosswalks have lead to an increase in accidents involving pedestrians and bicyclists.
The report found that there were 3,300 accidents involving pedestrians and cyclists from 2005 to 2011. The number of incidents has varied each year, but there were more incidents in 2011 than there were in 2005.
Fourteen people have been killed in accidents while walking or bicycling since January alone, and there were 24 fatalities last year. There were two pedestrian deaths this week.
While the number of fatalities involving pedestrians and bicyclists increased in Charlotte between 2005 and 2011, the same fatalities dropped nationwide in the same period, and the overall number of wrecks in Charlotte also dropped in the same time period.
The newspaper's report identified 12 trouble spots for accidents involving pedestrians and cyclists in Charlotte. The areas with the most accidents involving pedestrians included uptown, where there are inadequate sidewalks, and low-income communities where more residents walk and use public transportation.
Last year, a study by the safety advocacy group Transportation for America ranked Charlotte 17th most dangerous for pedestrians out of the nation's 52 largest metropolitan areas. Raleigh ranked 13th, and Orlando was 1st.
Need for Increased Safety Measures
Charlotte leaders have pushed for additional sidewalks, crosswalks and other safety features to make the city more pedestrian- and bike-friendly.
The city has adopted a strategic plan that would build 375 miles of sidewalks by 2035. However, the plan has faced roadblocks with funding.
The Observer report noted that about 480 miles of main thoroughfares and 1,600 miles of local roads do not have sidewalks.
A lack of adequate crosswalks - which were either missing or spaced too far apart - has also been a concern. The Charlotte Department of Transportation said it has developed a list of 200 locations where it plans to install pedestrian crosswalk signals.
The city council also said that it will consider a plan that would widen sidewalks and add crosswalks to a main thoroughfare that has been problematic.
North Carolina Personal Injury Lawyers
If you were injured in an accident while walking or biking, you may be entitled to compensation for your injuries. If someone you love was injured or even killed in an accident while walking or biking, the law may provide compensation. Contact the Law Offices of James Scott Farrin at 1-866-900-7078 to find out if one of our North Carolina personal injury lawyers may be able to help you.