You know why no one walks anywhere in Houston? The godawful humidity and the relentless, soul-searing sun?
No -- it's because you can get killed here doing a crazy thing like being a pedestrian.
Transportation for America, a group who we assume involves itself with American-centric transportation issues, has come forth with a new report ranking the deadliest pedestrian cities in the U.S.
Houston is ninth. Safer than Phoenix, not as safe as Dallas.
From 2000 to 2009, the group says, about 47,700 pedestrians were killed.
These deaths typically are labeled "accidents," and attributed to error on the part of motorist or pedestrian. In fact, however, the majority of these deaths share a common thread: they occurred along "arterial" roadways that were dangerous by design, streets engineered for speeding traffic with little or no provision for people on foot, in wheelchairs or on bicycles.
During that time Houston saw 1,024 pedestrian deaths, the group said, giving it an average pedestrian fatality rate of two per 1000,000 people. Our (ominous sounding) "Pedestrian Danger Index" figure was 128.2; the worst rating, that of Orlando-Kissimmee, Florida, was 255.4.
You can mine deeper into the study here. But remember -- look both ways.