Safe roads ATX – Where should we focus on?

2015 ended as the year with most deaths in Austin, TX. These “accidents” happened in clusters within the city. Do you want to know where these clusters are? If you click here, a map will show you most of these locations.

A map labeled “B” within a circle overlays deaths and sidewalks absent in the city. This is intended to highlight the relationship between most “Accidents” and pedestrian-friendly environments.


Navigating thru these maps, a few conclusions are drawn:

  1. Automobile-oriented environments see more deaths than pedestrian-friendly areas (I-35, airport blvd).
  2. We should create pedestrian-friendly environments where the City of Austin has identified high-priority absent sidewalks.
  3. We should retrofit car-oriented areas and convert them to pedestrian-friendly environments.
  4. We should prioritize areas where 311 calls are made.
  5. We should prioritize areas close to parks where lots of people attend to enjoy nature, festivals, to practice sports, etc.
  6. We should prioritize areas close to bus stops, to ensure all non-drivers commute safely.
  7. We should prioritize areas where deaths are happening!!.
  8. We should select and take action to retrofit areas by overlaying priorities.

The pre-conclusion showcased here gives a 35% weight of influence in the decision to map “B” (location of deaths), while giving less influence to other maps.

If we want to make our city safe, and if we want to achieve Vision Zero goals (no deaths), can this approach be improved somehow? What would you include / change?

*to clarify, each “scenario” (labeled “A” thru “E”) is defined below.


Click here for a full resolution graph and analysis.

The data used so far is overlaid on the City’s layer for absent sidewalks developed by the City of Austin.

A. Clusters of 311 call requests: These clusters are accounting for calls requesting new sidewalks or sidewalk repairs.

B. Proximity to accidents causing deaths: In theory, the more attention redesigning these areas, the more accidents and deaths we will avoid. In my opinion this data set has the highest % of influence for this approach.

C. Proximity to parks: In my opinion this is a must, but not with a super high % of influence, since parks are mostly pedestrian oriented already.

D. Proximity to bus stops: Outside of 300 ft (a block size), the farther away, the less priority (% of influence) should have this data set.

E. Bus stop location: Within 300ft (a block size); in my opinion the % of influence of this should be higher than D, but not higher than B.



  1. The bare existence of sidewalks (vs. not) should be a measured factor. You may have an area with no pedestrian casualties because everyone’s too afraid to walk in the first place. Regardless of whether people bother to call 311 about it.


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