Walkability Scored, Why We Earned an ‘F’

Walking is a popular means of exercise across the country, but for New Yorkers, walking is unavoidable. According to data from the United States Census Bureau more than 10% of New York City workers walk to work and more than 50% walk to some form of public transportation. For many of us who walk New York City streets and see the risks firsthand it’s not a surprise to learn the U.S. earned a low ‘walkability’ grade, but why an F?

The National Physical Activity Plan Alliance compiled data from all over the country and rated a number of factors, including adult walking behavior, children and youth walking behavior, pedestrian infrastructure, safety, pedestrian policies, institutional policies, public transportation, walkable neighborhoods, walking programs, and more. What did the results show? Overall, as a country, we failed.

Here are some highlights from the report:


“Safety concerns and community design are two barriers to walking that directly relate to pedestrian infrastructure.² Safety concerns include pedestrian deaths and injuries, perceived traffic dangers, and fear of crime or perceptions of an unsafe neighborhood.² In 2015, a total of 5,376 pedestrians were killed and 70,000 were injured in motor vehicle crashes.19 Lack of sidewalks and crosswalks, poor lighting, streets with high-speed traffic, and poorly timed crossing signals increase risk for pedestrians.”- The Alliance


“…The percentage of pedestrian fatalities in traffic crashes increased from 2005 to 2014,23 and in 2015, the number of pedestrian fatalities was the highest it has been since 1996 (5,376), with approximately 15 pedestrians killed daily.19 Communities should work to provide all community members with safe access to pedestrian routes.” – The Alliance


“The United States receives a grade of F because less than 30% of states (n = 10) have state legislation and appropriations for a Safe Routes to School Program.”- The Alliance

If you or a loved one were injured in a pedestrian knockdown contact us today.

Additional NYC Pedestrian Safety Resources: