Asheville residents who have ever walked in our city know the dangers of being a pedestrian in a growing region. Some of the most pedestrian-heavy areas in Asheville are also the most dangerous for people walking or bicycling. This phenomenon is not specific to Asheville; dozens of growing cities across the country are experiencing similar growing pains that are hazardous or even deadly to pedestrians. The need for more pedestrian-friendly city planning is evident here and in other cities with rising populations.
Asheville’s Street Design
A recent study by the Governors’ Highway Safety Association noted a dramatic rise in the number of pedestrian deaths from 2015 to 2016. Nearly 6,000 pedestrians were killed in 2016. Last year’s increase reflects a trend of rising numbers of pedestrian deaths overall; pedestrian fatalities also rose from 2014 to 2015.