New Orleans is a very walkable city, and plenty of people who live here get where they need to go via their own power on a daily basis. Countless tourists also choose to walk while visiting.
Unfortunately, so much foot traffic leads to some traumatic traffic collisions. In 2022, New Orleans reported 70 pedestrian fatalities. Collisions between people and vehicles often end poorly even when pedestrians survive. Vehicles traveling at low speeds can cause broken bones, brain injuries and even spinal cord injuries. Higher-speed collisions often prove fatal.
Many factors contribute to the prevalence of pedestrian crashes and fatalities in New Orleans. For example, both the behavior of pedestrians and the practices of motorists can increase crash risk. Road design and traffic density are also important contributing factors. It is, therefore, difficult to implement safety programs to reduce such crashes. Thankfully, New Orleans recently received a sizable grant to help improve the safety of pedestrians on municipal roadways.
What the grant provides
The United States Department of Transportation provided a federal grant to New Orleans in February 2023 for $751,631. The grant comes from the Safe Streets and Roads for All (SS4A) program. The program is the result of bipartisan legislation, and it helps provide financial support for local authorities seeking to reduce traffic issues.
The funding will help to establish and implement a new traffic safety plan for the city. With the right information, the city can then invest its funds in the projects that are likely to have the biggest impact on motorist and pedestrian safety. Reworking high-risk roadways, offering improved safety training and possibly changing certain traffic ordinances could all contribute to a future reduction in pedestrian fatalities in New Orleans.
The federal grant will make it possible to analyze different methods of reducing the number of pedestrians hurt each year. Going over the existing data about previous crashes and gathering comprehensive data about new collisions as they occur can help to inform both policy and personal behavior.
Understanding the causes of pedestrian-vehicle collisions in New Orleans and across Louisiana can help motorists make choices that prioritize their own safety. Additionally, seeking legal guidance can help those who have already suffered harm as a result of such crashes.