Chances are you're in danger if you walk on Jacksonville streets, according to new study

Jacksonville ranks sixth most deadly city for pedestrians

Walking is generally good for your health but if you’re walking on the streets of Jacksonville, chances are you’re in danger, a study suggests.

Advocacy group Smart Growth America puts the River City at number 6 on the list of most dangerous U.S. cities for pedestrians.

It’s a risk David Johnson knows all too well.

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“Crossing Beach Boulevard, the guy didn't want to slow down. I had to [go] back because he was so in a hurry,” said Johnson.

Nine of the cities in the top 20 are in Florida, with the Orlando metro area at number 1. Florida is the most dangerous state for those who walk, according to the study.

Smart Growth America’s data show that from 2008 to 2017, 419 pedestrians were killed in Jacksonville.

Rank Metro Area Pedestrian deaths
(2008-2017)
Annual pedestrian fatalities
per 100,000 people
1 Orlando-Kissimmee-Sanford, FL 656 2.82
2 Deltona-Daytona Beach-Ormond Beach, FL 212 3.45
3 Palm Bay-Melbourne-Titusville, FL 165 2.94
4 North Port-Sarasota-Bradenton, FL 194 2.58
5 Lakeland-Winter Haven, FL 162 2.54
6 Jacksonville, FL 419 2.94
7 Bakersfield, CA 247 2.83
8 Cape Coral-Fort Myers, FL 148 2.83
9 Tampa-St. Petersburg-Clearwater, FL 900 3.07
10 Jackson, MS 111 1.92

*Source: Smart Growth America / Dangerous By Design 2019

Over the same time period, 49,340 pedestrians were killed nationwide.

The study notes that’s “equivalent to a jumbo jet full of people crashing with no survivors every single month.”

Smart Growth America said the way cities are designed has a lot to do with how safe they are for pedestrians. The study claims that too often cities are designed with cars in mind, not the people who walk.

Pedestrians like Johnson agree cities need to improve their designs.

“I would like to see more people caring about, you know, making it possible for the pedestrians and the city of Jacksonville itself doing more,” said Johnson.

To read the study in its entirety click here.