The 10 Most Dangerous Places to Be a Pedestrian in Dallas

It isn't easy to get around Dallas without a car. It's a mantra and a statement of fact for those who live in and visit the city. Thanks to the heat in the summer, unwieldy bus system and commuter-focused light rail service, not to mention the sheer size of the city, one needs a car, or at least ready access to a car or car service, to survive.

For those forced to walk, conditions can be treacherous, especially in the few places in Dallas where there are large numbers of pedestrians, cars and trucks in a small area, or where walkers are forced to confront high-speed traffic without a significant buffer. In 2013, the Observer looked at 10 of the most dangerous places in Dallas for pedestrians.

As 2017 winds to a close, a December study put together by data visualization firm 1Point21 Interactive for San Antonio's Hill Law Firm shows how things have and haven't changed using the latest four years of crash data (2012-15) available from the Texas Department of Transportation.

Here are Dallas' 10 most treacherous areas for pedestrians.

1. The West End

The western portion of downtown Dallas, generalized as the West End in the study, is the most dangerous area of Dallas for those on foot, according to TxDOT's data. Many of the 42 pedestrian-involved accidents reported in the area are centered on the Rosa Parks Plaza DART bus hub and DART's West End train station, which is no surprise given the number of people crossing Lamar Street between the transit hubs or heading to nearby destinations like El Centro College.

Fortunately, none of the crashes examined in the West End for the study resulted in pedestrian deaths, likely because of the low speeds at which the wrecks occurred. "The speed-to-injury ratio is an exponential curve," Scott Bricker of the national pedestrian advocacy group America Walks told the Observer in 2014. "At 20 miles an hour, effectively no one dies, and at 40 miles an hour, 95 percent of [people struck by cars] die."

2. West Northwest Highway

West Northwest Highway near Community Drive in Northwest Dallas saw 17 pedestrian accidents, including one death, from 2012 to 2015. The area features limited sidewalks, wide roads and high traffic, a brutal recipe for those getting around on foot.

3. Ledbetter Drive at Bonnie View Road and 4. Malcolm X Boulevard at Martin Luther King Jr. Boulevard

The intersection of Ledbetter Drive and Bonnie View Road, along with the next intersection on this list, Malcolm X Boulevard and Martin Luther King Jr. Boulevard, have a lot in common. Both locations saw about a dozen crashes, resulting in three serious injuries and one death each, over the study period. Both are in southern Dallas, too, in areas that are low density, with limited access to public transit and wide roads with high speed limits — all negative factors for those hoping to walk where they need to go without getting hit.

5. Ledbetter Drive at Sunnyvale Street

The intersection of Ledbetter Drive and Sunnyvale Street in South Dallas is almost absurdly hazardous for pedestrians. It's eight lanes wide, with turn lanes on either side of the street that make it even wider. Two people died and two more were seriously injured at the intersection during the four years included in the study.

6. Lovers Lane at Greenville Avenue

Lovers Lane at Greenville Avenue is dangerous for pedestrians, many of whom arrive in the area at the nearby Lovers Lane train station, because it has multiple lanes of frequently turning traffic, divided by a median that provides little protection for those on foot. Given the popularity of Central Market and the Old Town Shopping Center at the intersection, it's no surprise that 15 pedestrian-involved accidents happened in the area during the study period.

7. Coit Road at Spring Valley Road

High-speed, multilane traffic along with retail locations attractive to people less likely to have cars, like a Cash America pawn shop, may have contributed to the four serious injuries and one death for pedestrians at Spring Valley and Coit roads in Far North Dallas during the period studied.

8. Park Lane Station

DART's Park Lane station is between the intersections of Park Lane and Greenville Avenue and Park Lane at Central Expressway. To get from the station to NorthPark Center, as many DART riders want to do, one has to cross the Central Expressway service road while working down Park Lane to the mall. Drivers hit 12 pedestrians near the station from 2012-15.

9. Jefferson Boulevard at Llewellyn Avenue

Jefferson Boulevard at Llewellyn Avenue is a hub for its Oak Cliff neighborhood. It's bordered by two grocery stores, Fiesta and Jerry's, as well as El Ranchito. Jefferson, especially, is a high-traffic street. A dozen people were injured in and around the intersection during the time covered by the study.

10. Buckner Boulevard at Lake June Road

Like many of the spots on this list, Buckner Boulevard at Lake June road is an intersection where two multilane, high-traffic roads intersect, subjecting pedestrians to cars making left turns, the bane of pedestrians everywhere. Drivers struck eight pedestrians near the intersection from 2012-15, killing one person and severely injuring another.
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Stephen Young has written about Dallas news for the Observer since 2014. He's a Dallas native and a graduate of the University of North Texas.
Contact: Stephen Young

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