TPD Calls Number of Pedestrian Deaths in Report "Inflated"

Feb 11, 2019

Credit KWGS News File Photo

Tulsa Police dispute the number of pedestrian deaths from 2008 through 2017 claimed in a new report.

Smart Growth America’s Dangerous By Design report lists Tulsa as the 29th-most dangerous city for pedestrians in the U.S. and says 148 pedestrians died from 2008 to 2017.

TPD Cpl. Brian Collum told the Transportation Advisory Board the actual number is around 105.

"A little over 90 percent of them are the pedestrian’s fault. We just picked some random reports, pulled them out in general, and most of them were pedestrians walking in the street, pedestrians not using the crosswalk — or crossing where they shouldn’t be crossing — and then quite a few of them were intoxicated," Collum said.

The Mingo Valley Division had more pedestrian fatalities than usual in 2017, with most happening on Admiral between Sheridan and Mingo.

"When we started working the auto-pedestrians on Admiral, the two things were there was really nowhere for them to cross — there was nowhere for them to walk — and it was not well lit," Collum said.

For the most part, kids are not being hit walking to school, which is only somewhat good news.

"People anymore, they don’t walk to school, and a lot of our elementary schools are not geared for a lot of this [traffic]. So, we’re not having the kids get hit going to school, but they’re getting hit at school because the schools aren’t adequately geared to have all those vehicles there," Collum said.

Smart Growth America reported Tulsa has become more dangerous for pedestrians since 2016. The group advocates for safety enhancements like lower speed limits and street features to protect pedestrians and cyclists.