You're speeding out of work with a cell phone in one hand and can of Coke between your knees, trying to make it home before the Chihuahua you keep locked inside all day shits the carpet again, when suddenly, one of those small, panicked dots appears in the distance, in the middle of the road. "Why is that damn thing in my way?" you yell. But the dot is actually a person, and it's probably there because there's no crosswalk nearby.
Dallas has its urban, pedestrian-friendly areas, but there are plenty more streets where walking is beyond an annoyance. When people are forced to jaywalk across an eight-lane road that looks more like a freeway, being a pedestrian is downright dangerous.
Data provided from the TxDOT shows that there have been 83 fatal car crashes involving pedestrians on the streets of Dallas County over a 21-month-period, from January 2012 until September 2013. In that same time span, there were an additional 248 pedestrian-involved car crashes ending in an incapacitating injury. Though the driver has been hurt in a few instances, most of the time, the person who dies or gets incapacitated is the pedestrian.
Using that data, we've compiled some especially terrible places to be a pedestrian in Dallas. Addresses are approximate, based on latitutde-longtitutde numbers provided by TxDOT and calculated by Unfair Park. Some other quick data limitations to keep in mind: TxDOT could not provide the date of the crash beyond the year, nor could it release names of parties involved.
448 S. Good Latimer Expressway (above) It might cut between a friendly dog park, but crossing the street at this diagonal mess of an intersection in Deep Ellum is a pain the ass. A pedestrian was killed here last year.
The Texas 12 Loop, from Ledbetter through the Great Trinity Forest The long road to the Great Trinity Forest undergoes several name changes. The "East Ledbetter Drive" part cuts through Glendale Park and Cummings Park in southern Dallas, and it's at this stretch where a whopping six pedestrians have died since 2012.
Then Ledbetter reaches under Interstate 45, where it then becomes Great Trinity Forest Blvd. This stretch of the road has seen an additional pedestrian fatality and three serious injuries.
Residential sections of Oak Lawn Don't let the quiet, leafy streets fool you. While Cedar Springs Road is known for its bustling, pedestrian-friendly nightlife around the 4000 block, the 2000 block has seen two pedestrians get seriously hurt. Nearby, there was another incapacitating crash on Wolf Street and another on Fairmount Street.
The 2000 block of Martin Luther King Jr. Boulevard One pedestrian died at 2412 Martin Luther King Jr. Blvd., another died at 2868, and a third was incapacitated around the 2750 block.
Grand Avenue Grand Avenue is parallel to Martin Luther King Jr. Boulevard, and is similarly wide, fast and short on crosswalks, even though houses line the street. Since 2012, there have been a pedestrian death near 2709 Grand and an injury at 2534.
Preston Road Preston seems like such a nice road. It cuts through the Park Cities and has a fancy, British-sounding name. But it's wide and fast, and even the areas near designated crosswalks don't seem to be safe. There was one death near the intersection of Preston and Northwest Highway last year, and another injury at Preston and Mockingbird Lane. There were also two other pedestrian injuries on Preston far from any crosswalk.
Nice Streets That Cross Over the North Central Expressway When you are young and new to town, a free apartment locator will hunt you down and tell you that "everyone" lives in Uptown. When you ask her about any neighborhoods that might be a little weirder and cheaper than Uptown, she will tell you about a cheap place across the street from Uptown. What she will not tell you is that the street you have to cross is the monstrosity known as the North Central Expressway, where motorists like to pretend that they're on the freeway for a minute. A pedestrian was killed last year on Lemmon near North Central Expressway, and there were also serious pedestrian injuries near the Expressway at Mockingbird and Park lanes.
Buckner Boulevard Buckner is on the less fancy, Garland side of White Rock lake, connecting Northwest Highway to Garland Road, East RL Thornton and 175. Four different pedestrians have been incapacitated on this busy road.
Ross Avenue Between Henderson and Greenville avenues Greenville is cute and walkable, Henderson is cute and walkable. Ross Avenue, the fast, wide street connecting the two, seems to be the spot where pedestrians are at great risk. That stretch of Ross has seen three crashes in the past two years that ended in an incapacitating injury.
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All of those "gigantic parking lot-access road-freeway-access road-gigantic parking lot" sandwiches North Texas has a ton of frontage roads, those highway-like structures on either side of the freeway, lined with homes, businesses and gigantic parking lots. The frontage roads are sometimes divided by a grassy sidewalk-like structure, seemingly as a place to catch a breather while walking across the road. But you'll notice that the grass on those grassy road dividers is always dead. There is a reason for that.
Want to explore more crash sites? Here is a map we made with all of the crashes from the TxDOT data: