Lower Income Cities Tend to Have More Pedestrian Crashes

Posted on May 15, 2012

The city of Newark, New Jersey, is being used as an example of the correlation between an increase in pedestrian collisions and a generally lower income average.

Researchers believe this correlation has been established for two primary reasons.  The first is that people with low income are often unable to afford a car, and so they’re left to walk a lot more often than persons in areas where the income median is significantly higher.  The second possible influence has to do with the fact that lower income areas can’t provide the type of infrastructure that could protect pedestrians.  This infrastructure could include something as simple as pedestrian crossing signals or traffic lights.

Take Newark, for example.  Statistics show that around 500 people are hit by cars while walking in that city.  Newark’s average income per household is also less than half of what the state’s median is.  One intersection alone, that of Park Avenue and 4th Street, saw dozens of crashes and three serious pedestrian strikes over just 18 months.

To combat this growing problem, the city has approved a $27 million improvement package that will attempt to make roads safer for pedestrians and cyclists alike.  Sadly, though, some roads won’t get the tender loving care that they might need.  That’s because certain roads actually are under the jurisdiction of Essex County, not the city.

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