May 25, 2011 / 4:51 PM / 8 years ago

Warning: Walking on a Florida street may be dangerous

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - Warning to pedestrians — Walking down the street in Florida could be hazardous to your health.

Several major cities in the state — Orlando, Tampa, Jacksonville, Miami-Fort Lauderdale — took the top spots on a list of the most dangerous metropolitan areas for pedestrians published by a U.S. transportation reform group on Tuesday.

The “Dangerous by Design” report, produced by Transportation for America, ranked cities with populations over a million people in terms of the danger to pedestrians relative to the amount of walking in a given area.

Riverside, California, Las Vegas, Memphis, Phoenix, Houston, and Dallas filled out the top ten in that order.

The author of the report emphasized the role of planning in the dangerous cities for pedestrians.

The common factor urban sprawl, low-density areas that are organized around wide, high-speed streets known as arterials.

Most of the over 47,700 pedestrian fatalities during the last decade were on these arterial roads, researcher Michelle Ernst said.

Racial minorities and seniors are more likely to be victims of pedestrian fatalities, the report also highlighted.

Transportation for America advocates for federal transportation reform that mandates the complete use of streets, that is a transportation system that facilitates use by pedestrians, bicyclists, motorcyclists, motorists, and those using public transportation.

The best cities for pedestrians according to the same list are Boston, Cleveland, New York, and Pittsburgh.

Reporting by Wendell Marsh; Editing by Greg McCune

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