We have noticed an increased number of pedestrians in recent months walking along area roadways during the early morning and evening hours. You probably have noticed them as well.
Even now during these cold and snowy mornings, it is not unusual to see people walking along the road.
One location that is particularly problematic is U.S. Route 52. This is already a very dangerous highway, and that danger is heightened when pedestrians are walking along the roadway during the early morning and late night hours.
We aren’t for sure why these individuals are walking along the road during these cold mornings and nights. But the problem isn’t limited just to U.S. Route 52. So motorists need to drive carefully and slow down if they see a pedestrian on the road ahead of them.
According to the Associated Press, the nation’s pedestrian death toll reached its highest level since 1990 last year. Ten years ago, 4,109 pedestrians died on U.S. roads. The number has risen virtually every year since, and last year the death toll was up 3.4 percent to 6,283, the AP study found. Pedestrian fatalities in urban areas also are up 69 percent over the last 10 years.
Nighttime pedestrian fatalities also were up 4.6 percent from 2017 to 2018. The nonpartisan advocacy groups Smart Growth America and the National Complete Streets Coalition are projecting that pedestrian deaths will continue to increase in 25 states.
We are all for walking and promoting good health.
However, there are places where one probably shouldn’t be walking. This includes U.S. Route 52, U.S. Route 460 and Interstate 77.
Instead, there are plenty of sidewalks, and safer streets, for a morning jog or stroll outside.
Pedestrians should exercise caution and common sense. Walking along a heavily traveled corridor late at night — often without a flash light and while wearing dark clothing — isn’t smart.
Please walk for good health, but do so in a safe location.