If there is any doubt that Austin is a tough town to be a pedestrian (or a cyclist, for that matter), a new study says Austinites should continue walking with care. In December, San Antonio-based Hill Law Firm partnered with data visualization company 1Point21 Interactive to map the most dangerous intersections in Texas.
Analyzing Texas Department of Transportation data ranging from 2012-2015, the study looked at pedestrian crashes, injuries, and fatalities to identify 73 "high-risk zones" in Texas. As KXAN first reported, not only does Austin take the top spot, but we appear four times in the top 10, and nine times overall.
So just where are the most dangerous intersections in Austin? While it's no surprise that the top spot is downtown, many of them are concentrated in residential areas outside the city center.
- No. 1: Trinity and East Seventh streets (40 crashes, 42 total injuries)
- No. 4: West Fourth and Lavaca streets (31 crashes, 34 total injuries)
- No. 7: North Lamar Boulevard (25 crashes, 24 total injuries)
- No. 10: I-35 and Rundberg Lane (16 crashes, 21 total injuries)
- No. 28: William Cannon Boulevard and Bluff Springs Road (14 crashes, 14 total injuries)
- No. 39: Winn Elementary School (12 crashes, 8 total injuries)
- No. 40: East 53rd Street and Cameron Road (10 crashes, 10 total injuries)
- No. 42: East Oltorf Street and Burleson Drive (12 crashes, 9 total injuries)
- No. 56: East Oltorf Street and Pleasant Valley Road (11 crashes and 10 total injuries)
The law firm also picks up on this trend saying, "The source of these pedestrian accidents is a tale of two cities. On one hand, a significant amount of the crashes can be attributed to the high pedestrian density in the downtown area. On the other hand, pedestrian crashes are also concentrated in areas of north and northeast Austin, which are home to low-income, minority neighborhoods where there is a lack of proper safety features such as crosswalks and barriers."
In addition to calculating the number of crashes and total injuries, the study also uses a Pedestrian Danger Index (PDI), which is calculated using crash volume and injury severity with fatalities and incapacitating injuries weighing the heaviest. Trinity and East Seventh streets has a PDI of 286, the highest in the state.
"With only nine high-risk zones, Austin may seem more pedestrian-friendly than the other major cities in the state, but looks can be deceiving," says the report.