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Walk This Way - Pedestrian Safety

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Welcome to the Walk This Way website - a place where both pedestrians and drivers can come to find helpful tips and information about making our city streets a safer place. 

Take a look at our Safety Fast Facts or test your knowledge with the Trivia Quiz.  Throughout this site you'll also find some interesting and even surprising statistics about pedestrian safety in Boston.  And be sure to check out the graphics from our award winning Walk This Way campaign.

How many pedestrians are in Boston?
Would you believe 2 million? The official census says that almost 600,000 people call Boston home. But when you add the many workers and visitors who come into Boston everyday, that number swells to 2 million pedestrians. With that many people walking in our city, pedestrian safety is an issue of critical importance.

How safe are Boston pedestrians?
Walking in Boston can be quite hazardous. In the year before our campaign started, 1,166 pedestrians were taken to the hospital following a motor vehicle crash in Boston. Since Walk This Way began, that number has declined significantly. Take a look at our numbers -- Pedestrian Injuries in Boston.

Injuries only tell part of the story.  Driver and pedestrian behaviors tell the other part.  We did a study and discovered the following:

  • Only 12% of pedestrians waited for "Walk" signal before crossing the street.
  • 1/3 of pedestrians jaywalked (crossed at least 5 feet from crosswalk).
  • While nearly 95% of drivers yield to pedestrians when pedestrians have the right of way, only 50% of drivers yielded to pedestrians who were crossing against the light. Even fewer slowed down for jaywalkers.

Results indicated that pedestrians frequently engaged in risky behavior possibly resulting in serious injury, particularly jaywalking and not crossing with the light

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Boston Public Health Commission
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Phone:(617) 534-5395 Email: info@bphc.org