Highways and pedestrian deaths in US neighborhoods

Justin Tyndall, Publications, Transportation

The research makes use of a national database on vehicle crashes. You can explore the data yourself using UHERO’s Fatal Car Crash Explorer.

Abstract: Over 100,000 pedestrians have been struck and killed by vehicles on US roadways in the first two decades of the 21st century, representing an alarming public health issue. We examine the US Interstate Highway System’s legacy in contributing to local pedestrian deaths using historical Interstate Highway plans as an instrument for local Interstate construction. Operating an Interstate through a census tract increased local pedestrian deaths significantly. Among 17,000 tracts bisected by Interstates, we estimate the average tract experienced 2.5 additional pedestrian deaths between 2001–2020 due to the presence of the Interstate. We find these deaths occur disproportionately in Black communities.

Cody Nehiba and Justin Tyndall, Highways and pedestrian deaths in US neighborhoods, Regional Science and Urban Economics, 2023, 103938, ISSN 0166-0462, https://doi.org/10.1016/j.regsciurbeco.2023.103938.