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PNS Daily Newscast - June 22, 2018 


The GOP leadership puts their efforts to fix immigration on hold. Also on the Friday rundown: Florida students take their gun control message to the Midwest; and a call for renewal of the land and water conservation fund.

Daily Newscasts

To Be a Retirement Destination, AZ Must Improve Pedestrian Safety

Phoenix Police report the city has seen 40 pedestrian deaths so far in 2018, on track to surpass the 56 pedestrian deaths recorded in all of 2017. (Casey Fiesler/Flickr)
Phoenix Police report the city has seen 40 pedestrian deaths so far in 2018, on track to surpass the 56 pedestrian deaths recorded in all of 2017. (Casey Fiesler/Flickr)
June 6, 2018

PHOENIX - Arizona has a long reputation as a popular state for retirement, and as the Baby Boomer generation ages and people live longer, the state is likely to see more residents who don't drive. Their advocates say it's important that the state do more to consider the safety of older pedestrians.

Arizona has the most pedestrian fatalities per capita of any U.S. state, according to the Governor's Highway Safety Association. The problem disproportionately affects adults age 65 and older. Steve Jennings, associate state director of AARP Arizona, said much of the state's economy is based on retirees moving in.

"So, if we want to continue this trend," he said, "the more we could design the environments of our cities and the places people live to be friendly for people with all modes of transportation."

Since 2014, the city of Phoenix has been working on a "Complete Streets" initiative to make roadways safer in the state's largest metro area. However, several members of the Complete Streets advisory board resigned recently, saying the city has failed to adopt important design guidelines. C.J. Hager, director of healthy community policies for Vitalyst Health, remained on the board and said the city could protect vulnerable populations by establishing guidelines to reduce speed limits, calibrate crosswalks to allow more time for pedestrians, or create street signs that are clearer for people with visual impairments.

"We need to consider every pedestrian and cyclist death very seriously, and not consider them an accident," she said. "There are things that we can do differently in our street environment that can help prevent those crashes from happening."

Hager said she hopes to see the Complete Streets plans move forward to protect not only older adults but everyone on the road.

Katherine Davis-Young, Public News Service - AZ