A study proves that pedestrian crashes happen significantly more often in low income neighborhoods, according to The Atlantic Cities:
It’s no secret that being poor is bad for your health. Poor people in the United States run a greater risk of suffering from severe asthma, diabetes, heart disease, and many other illnesses.
They’re also more likely to get hit and injured or killed by drivers.
Those findings have been confirmed in recent studies, including one in Newark, New Jersey, that was the subject of a recent story on WNYC:
While a grad student at Rutgers, Daniel Kravetz starting sifting through data for several counties in Northern New Jersey. “And I started to notice that all the roads that were most likely to have a lot of intersections with high crash counts, were in communities where the population was either highly African American or highly Latino,” he says.
So he dug a little deeper. And found what he calls “a statistically significant relationship” between low income neighborhoods and high pedestrian crash totals.
That correlation shows up everywhere. “The higher the income level, the lower the likelihood for crashes to occur in an area,” Kravetz says. “And that was found in almost any study that analyzed that relationship.”
Researchers are trying to hone [sic] in on why this is. One obvious reason: car ownership is out of reach for many low income people – so they’re walking more, literally increasing their exposure to cars. But poorer neighborhoods often lack even the most basic pedestrian infrastructure. And advocates are turning their attention to trying to improve intersections, one corner at a time.
But in some low-income neighborhoods, streets even lack corners to improve. A report released earlier this year by Transportation Alternatives, a New York advocacy group, showed that child traffic fatalities and injuries in that city are clustered near Manhattan public housing, and hypothesized that “superblock” design, leading to more midblock crossings, might be one contributing factor. The report, titled “Child Crashes: An Unequal Burden,” [PDF] suggested that the areas near public housing should potentially be marked as “slow zones.” It also called for stricter enforcement of traffic laws.