Tuesday, November 20, 2007

Smart Growth and Traffic Safety

Todd Litman says that Smart Growth reduces traffic fatalities for drivers, pedestrians, bikers, and transit commuters:

Many families move to sprawled, automobile-dependent suburbs because they want a safe place to raise their children. They are mistaken. A smart growth community is actually a much safer and healthier place to live overall.

Most discussion of Smart Growth benefits focuses on infrastructure savings, environmental protection, increased accessibility and improved livability. One of the most important benefits, increased traffic safety, is often overlooked. In fact, traffic safety is one of the most important benefits of smart growth and smart growth is one of the most effective ways to reduce traffic risk.
Three of the top 10 most sprawled places studied were in North Carolina: Stokes County, Yadkin County, and Davie County, where you are about seven times more likely to die in a car crash than in New York County, New York.

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