The U.S. Department of Transportation's National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) today announced that Louisville, Philadelphia and New York City will receive grants totaling approximately $1.6 million for public education and enforcement initiatives to improve pedestrian safety. The new grants are part of the Department's Everyone Is a Pedestrian campaign to help communities combat the rising number of pedestrian deaths and injuries that have occurred from 2009 through 2012.
"Pedestrian safety is a top priority for the Department," said U.S. Transportation Secretary Anthony Foxx. "Through a combination of education, enforcement, and improvements to walking routes themselves, these grants will improve pedestrian safety in these three cities while serving as a model for communities across the country as well."
The grant program provides approximately $1.6 million in total for the three cities to implement specific education and enforcement initiatives as part of their communities' Pedestrian Safety Action Plan. The three winners are among the cities with some of the highest rates of pedestrian fatalities nationwide:
Louisville was awarded $307,000 and will use the funds to create a pedestrian education program for school-aged children and create safe walking routes for senior citizens. In addition, the funds will be used to conduct law enforcement training and crosswalk enforcement activities. In Louisville, a total of six pedestrians were killed in motor vehicle crashes during 2012, representing 10 percent of the city's total traffic fatalities.
Philadelphia was awarded $525,000 and will use the funds to address pedestrian safety in downtown areas by increasing police visibility and ticketing during high risk hours in 20 high-crash locations. The grant will also be used for marketing to reach pedestrians in these areas and to train officers on pedestrian safety. In Philadelphia, a total of 31 pedestrians were killed in motor vehicle crashes during 2012, representing 29 percent of the city's total traffic fatalities.
New York City was awarded $805,801 and will use the funds to address speeding drivers and drivers who do not yield to pedestrians in crosswalks. The city will work on reaching the demographic most likely to be in pedestrian crashes -- young men -- through social media and enforcement activities in high-crash areas. In New York City, a total of 127 pedestrians were killed in motor vehicle crashes during 2012, representing 47 percent of the city's total traffic fatalities.
"Building public awareness and supporting safe walking routes are key tools to improve safety and walkability," said NHTSA Acting Administrator David Friedman. "Everyone is a pedestrian at some point in their day, and these grants give local communities an opportunity to shine a spotlight on their pedestrian safety concerns and make their cities safer places to walk."
In addition to the grants, NHTSA, along with the Federal Highway Administration (FHWA), provides a one-stop shop website, www.nhtsa.gov/everyoneisapedestrian, with safety tips and resources for local leaders, city planners, parents and others involved in improving pedestrian safety.
These resources include information for parents on teaching children about safe walking, reports on effective pedestrian projects for state highway safety offices, and guides for community pedestrian safety advocates.