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Study: Hoosier Pedestrians Would Be Advised To Look Both Ways

Rob Ketcherside

A report from the National Complete Streets Coalition ranks Indiana 23rd worst in the country for pedestrian fatalities.  The cause, it says, is poor street design.  Too often, communities plan roads to benefit drivers without considering pedestrians or cyclists. 

AARP-Indiana State Director June Lyle says the problem disproportionately affects the elderly.  She says older Hoosiers won’t have the option of continuing to live in their homes if communities don’t start considering all road users when building new roads or upgrading existing ones.

“Things like having sidewalks and bike lanes, it can mean having curb ramps and things that are accessible to people with disabilities, widening our sidewalks, providing pedestrian countdown signals,” Lyle says.

Kim Irwin is the executive director of Health by Design, an Indiana community design coalition.  She says making safety upgrades isn’t necessarily expensive and can be done with existing resources.

“It’s a very, very minor part of a project – usually only like 1-3 percent – to add pedestrian infrastructure,” Irwin says.

Irwin says many Indiana communities are making what she calls “Complete Streets” a greater part of their planning, including commissions in Tippecanoe County, Indianapolis, Bloomington and Evansville. 

Brandon Smith is excited to be working for public radio in Indiana. He has previously worked in public radio as a reporter and anchor in mid-Missouri for KBIA Radio out of Columbia. Prior to that, he worked for WSPY Radio in Plano, Illinois as a show host, reporter, producer and anchor. His first job in radio was in another state capitol, in Jefferson City, Missouri, as a reporter for three radio stations around Missouri. Brandon graduated from the University of Missouri-Columbia with a Bachelor of Journalism in 2010, with minors in political science and history. He was born and raised in Chicago.
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