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PNS Daily Newscast - April 20, 2018 


The DOJ delivers the Comey memos to Congress. Also on our rundown: More evidence that rent prices are out of reach in many markets; Wisconsin counties brace for sulfide mining; and the Earth Day focus this weekend in North Dakota is on recycling.

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Conundrum: Walking is Hazardous to Floridians' Health…so is Not Walking?

November 11, 2009

ORLANDO, Fla. - Orlando is the most dangerous place to walk in the country, followed by Tampa, Miami and Jacksonville, according to a new report from the group Transportation for America. It tallies pedestrian deaths over the past 15 years, for a shocking total of more than 76,000 people, all killed while crossing or walking along streets.

While fewer people walk in Florida cities than some other metropolitan areas, their risk of being struck by speeding cars is higher than places like Manhattan, the area of New York City with the highest number of pedestrian deaths. But Dr. Michael Vlases is concerned about the study results. As a diabetes specialist, he doesn't want the report to scare Floridians out of getting simple, everyday exercise because they are scared to walk. Not walking, warns Vlases, can also be a health hazard.

"What we really want to do is make sure that there are safe routes for people to ride their bikes and walk, every day, between their home and their work, or their places that they shop."

Dr. Vlases says walking, or even propelling a wheelchair, cannot be expected to be safe along every roadway. However, he believes communities should prioritize plans to improve safety on sidewalks and bike lanes and in dangerous intersections, in order to encourage outdoor activity.

"We definitely know that walking and eating well is the very best way to prevent diabetes. That's been shown time and time again in studies. We want that accessible for everybody."

The report also recommends greater focus on pedestrian safety in federal transportation projects.

The most dangerous states for pedestrians are Florida and Tennessee, according to the report. While Florida's overall pedestrian fatality rate is lower than many states, it is considered "most dangerous" because the road system has been designed to speed traffic up, rather than slow it down, which means many roadways lack sidewalks or crosswalks. The report also notes that, while motorists are often blamed for deaths, pedestrians are sometimes at fault.

The full report, "Dangerous by Design: Solving the Epidemic of Preventable Pedestrian Deaths (and Making Great Neighborhoods)" can be viewed at t4america.org.

Gina Presson , Public News Service - FL