We have so many customers calling us to work on their sidewalks and walkways. Everyone says safety is their biggest concern. After all, our families and neighborhoods do a lot of living on our sidewalks so it’s not really a surprise that so many Western New Yorkers care about making our sidewalks safe and level. We also get a lot of positive feedback from our customers about how much safer and more usable their concrete is after we get through with our work.
This safety issue got me thinking about whether there might be actual data on pedestrian injuries related to sidewalks. And it turns out that there is in fact a lot of data out there! Did you know that while there are 4500 pedestrian deaths from being hit by a car, there are 360 deaths per year of people who cannot or will not use the sidewalk and instead are walking in the roadway. These deaths are considered highly preventable with basic sidewalk maintenance. In fact, the government estimates that up to 88% of these deaths would be prevented if we simply installed and maintained excellent sidewalks!
There are twice as many street-crossing pedestrian deaths and injuries on roads without sidewalks than on roads that have well-maintained sidewalks on both sides of the street. School zones, transit locations, urban street shopping areas, and parks are the locations where quality sidewalks are the most important.
I’ve barely scratched the surface on this data, which all comes from FHWA publications. But it’s clear to me that quality sidewalks that are well-maintained make us safer and happier. Maybe not all our customers are thinking about safety issues when they call us, but I’m happy to know that in addition to adding home value, more useable outdoor family space, and improving neighborhoods, our work for our customers is improving safety for all our greater Buffalo area neighbors!!