The newly released Liberty Mutual Insurance Pedestrian Safety index ranks the top 15 safest U.S. cities for pedestrians in an effort to raise awareness and indentify best practices for keeping pedestrians safe.
The index is based on published government city statistics and residents' and commuters' perceptions of safety. Liberty Mutual surveyed 2,500 adult consumers in 25 cities.
According to survey respondents, adequate traffic signs, high visibility crosswalks, adequate signal time to cross streets, and street lighting are some of the biggest factors for pedestrian safety. Liberty Mutual found the safest cities at the top of the index rankings have made these safety features a priority, helping to reduce the number of pedestrian fatalities in the city.
Additionally, Liberty Mutual found that the top cities had laws in place to either ban texting and talking on the phone while driving. Cutting down on distracted pedestrian and driving behaviors due to the use of technology has helped reduce pedestrian fatality rates in the safest cities.
Here are the top 7-15 safest U.S. cities for pedestrians according to the Liberty Mutual pedestrian safety index:
15. Los Angeles, Calif.
14. Columbus, Ohio
13. Baltimore, Md.
12. Philadelphia, Pa.
11. Denver, Colo.
10. Atlanta, Ga.
9. Chicago, Ill.
8. Minneapolis, Minn.
7. Pittsburgh, Pa.
Click "next" to read more about the top 6 safest cities for pedestrians.
6. Portland, Ore.
In the early 1990s, Portland established the Portland Pedestrian Advisory Committee, a standing citizen advisory group that works to make the city safer for pedestrians. Thanks to the committee, 97% of residents and commuters feel that their city is working to keep its pedestrians safe.
5. New York, N.Y.
Ninety percent of those surveyed believe New York City is safe for pedestrians, and 95% believe the city is working to ensure safety. The New York City Department of Transportation has intoduced hundreds of traffic calming projects, education campaigns, technological applications, and stronger regulations to improve pedestrian safety. Since 2004, NYC has boasted the lowest number of annual traffic deaths since 1910.
4. San Francisco, Calif.
According to Liberty Mutual, 4 out of 5 San Francisco residents feel the city is safe for pedestrians, and 96% agree the city is working to improve pedestrian safety. Last April, Mayor Ed Lee released the Pedestrian Strategy, whose goal is to reduce pedestrian traffic fatalities by 25% by 2016 and by 50% by 2021 by fixing 44 miles of the city's most dangerous streets.
3. Washington, D.C.
The Washington D.C. Department of Transportation implemented a number of programs to improve the flow of vehicles, pedestrians, and bicycles in order to reduce traffic injuries and accidents. Some of these programs include new LED lights to brighten streets and adding more bike lanes each year. Ninety-five percent of Washington D.C. residents feel the city is taking the appropriate measures to improve their pedestrian safety.
2. Boston, Mass.
Boston has installed 195 traffic monitoring cameras and over 3,600 public safety signs, and in 2013 retimed more than 90 city traffic signals. Nintey-seven percent of residents surveyed feel like Boston is proactive in fostering pedestrian safety.
1. Seattle, Wash.
Seattle tops the list of the safest U.S. cities for pedestrians. Seattle has over 108,000 residents communit on foot or by public transportation every day, and has less than 10 pedestrian fatalities each year. Ninety-six percent of residents surveyed feel the city is safe for pedestrians, and 97% say the city is proactive in ensuring pedestrian safety.
Some of the measures Seattle has taken to make the city safe for pedestrians include the "Safest Route to School" program, which has added 501 new crosswalks, introduced school speed zone cameras, and improved school walking routes to protect school-bound children. The city also has a "Be Super Safe" campaign aimed at eliminating dangerous driving behaviors to protect pedestrians.