JACKSONVILLE, Fla. -- A new study ranks Jacksonville as the third most dangerous city in the country for pedestrians, according to Smart Growth America.

The 2014 study called Dangerous by Design shows Jacksonville has had 359 pedestrian deaths between 2003 - 2012.

"We have far too many roads that have inadequate pedestrian engineering," said Christopher Burns, Chair of the Jacksonville Pedestrian Bicycle Advisory Committee.

Burns says the city has too many long roads with no crosswalks and excessive speed limits.

"The science suggests in an impact of 20 miles an hour a pedestrian only has a five percent chance of dying, but if you increase that speed to 40 miles an hour the pedestrian has almost a 90 percent chance of dying," added Burns.

Jacksonville's city council passed the 2030 mobility plan in 2011 to bring existing roads up to standards for pedestrians and bicyclists, but Burns says there are no designs for the standards.

"I know that the local government budget is extremely tight, but what we're talking about is the different between committing money and losing lives," said Burns.

The Department of Transportation (DOT) added motion sensors to extend the crossing time for pedestrians at San Jose Boulevard and Haley Road where Esther Ohayon, 57, was hit and killed in 2013. DOT is also adding bike lanes to parts of San Jose Boulevard, Burns says more needs to be done.

"Alternative transportation is here to stay. In fact statistics suggest that walking and biking are increasing far more rapidly for our younger age groups than our motorists," added Burns.

The top four most dangerous cities for pedestrians are all in Florida. Orlando is ranked number one, Tampa is number two, and Miami takes the fourth spot.

Law enforcement agencies ask pedestrians to stay on the sidewalks and crosswalks, but if there isn't a sidewalk, police say walk on the side of the road facing oncoming traffic.

Read or Share this story: