Can Street Re-Design Reduce Pedestrian and Bike Accidents in DC?

By Peter DePaolis

Washington, D.C. Pedestrian Accident Lawyer Calls for Street Re-Design For Increased Safety Measures

Smart Growth America is an advocacy group that works to measure metropolitan growth and develops strategies for safer and more productive neighborhoods. The group recently released a report, as part of their National Complete Streets Coalition, that contained some promising information. According to their findings, neighborhoods that had undergone a street re-design aimed at accommodating bike and pedestrian traffic became safer and more economically robust.

Could this be something to help avoid pedestrian accidents and bicycle wrecks in the greater Washington, D.C. area? Our cycling accident attorneys think so, as every day, they see devastating accidents from cars and trucks hitting commuters, tourists and bicyclists.

A Look at the Results for Increased Pedestrian Safety

The results of 31 carefully planned street re-designs in U.S. cities were impressive. Among them:

  • Up to 70 percent of the streets saw a drop in car accidents, along with 56 percent of neighborhoods seeing a drop in all injuries
  • Increased business to already established shops, as well as positive growth overall of new businesses
  • $18.1 million of crash expenses avoided

Even without the data, it makes practical sense for streets to be re-designed to better accommodate all means of transportation. With clearly marked spaces for bikes and pedestrians, automobiles have plenty of room and are not forced to narrowly avoid hitting a cyclist or pedestrian in their lane, which makes everyone on the road safer.

Some cities fared extraordinarily well from the street re-designs. According to the report, the College Park neighborhood of Orlando, FL saw a 40 percent drop in collisions and 71 percent drop in injuries. Cases like this show how many unnecessary deaths and injuries can be avoided with smarter street designs.

What Happens When Pedestrians and Cyclists Are Struck by Automobiles

Unfortunately, far too many streets in America are dangerous for cyclists and pedestrians if automobile drivers are not paying attention. It can only take a split second for a car to not notice a pedestrian or cyclist before a terrible accident occurs. In such cases, it’s important to understand who is responsible for the accident and whether legal action is necessary to recover damages if the driver is at fault.

If this has happened to you, consulting with a Washington, D.C. pedestrian accident lawyer can help you determine the options ahead of you. All consultations with our personal injury attorneys are free of charge.

About the Author
Peter DePaolis joined the firm in 1980 and has since represented a large number of individuals involved in automobile collisions, truck accidents, bus crashes, defective products, and medical malpractice cases. A significant portion of Mr. DePaolis’ practice is devoted to working on behalf of people suffering from asbestosis, mesothelioma, and other asbestos-related cancers. He has led his firm’s fight against the asbestos industry and has recovered over $30 million in damages for asbestos victims and their families.