(Note: Much of this story comes from “Making Lawmakers Answer for Pedestrian Deaths in Their Districts” that appeared on Streetsblog Capitol Hill yesterday.)
No matter how you count it, California is a dangerous place for pedestrians. A recent report by Transportation for America showed that nearly 7,000 pedestrians were killed in California’s streets between 2001 and 2010. Now, thanks to an addendum to T4America’s annual “Dangerous by Design” report, we can now quantify the death toll by Congressional district. After Florida, California has the most districts with high numbers of deaths. Californians can see how dangerous their Congressional District has been by clicking here.
This places Senator Barbara Boxer in a tough place. As Chairwoman of the Senate Committee on the Environment and Public Works, Boxer is the Senate’s point person in dealing with far more conservative members of the House of Representatives when it comes to creating a transportation funding and policy bill that can pass both chambers and be signed by President Barack Obama.
Keeping pedestrians safe is just one consideration the Senator has to weigh, but advocates hope that it is a top one. “Having saddled communities with unsafe streets, it would be the height of cruelty for Congress now to take away resources and latitude from local communities trying to improve those conditions and save lives,” said James Corless, director of Transportation for America, in a statement.