Report shows Macon metro area deadliest in the state for pedestrians
A data report gathered by a group called Transportation for America shows from 2000 to 2009 the Macon Metro Area had the highest pedestrian fatality rate in the state. During that time, 3.3 per 100,000 people died.
The data was brought up by Macon business owner Lee Martin. The self described transportation activist first got in contact with WGXA last October, worried about the unruly antics of a Macon woman who he says would often drive her motorized vehicle in the middle of a one-way road against traffic.
While Martin says the Woman is being dangerous in her wheelchair, there are not a lot of options for the lady, riding to get her fix at a local Church's Chicken restaurant.
"If you don't design a road for the safety of pedestrians, you're going to have pedestrian fatalities," Martin said.
Macon and Bibb County has seen a rash of people hit by cars lately. Three people have been struck since October, two people have been hit since November, 18.
"The majority of them there's alcohol and drugs being involved in them," said Macon Police Department Traffic Fatality Investigator Austin Riley.
Riley says the accidents are mostly due to people being unsafe, not paying attention, wearing dark clothing, and being intoxicated.
statistics from Transportation for America show people with dark skin and senior citizens are hit more often by vehicles, but Martin says that data is not a viable explanation to why Macon has more pedestrian fatalities than anywhere else in Georgia
"It shouldn't matter whether you're black Latino or seniors, you should be able to cross the road safely," Martin said.
On November 18, a 35-year-old Macon man was critically injured trying to cross Emery Highway near the Ocmulgee National Monument. Police say the man was trying to reach a convenience store, there's also a bus stop in the area, but no crosswalk.
"The engineers have looked at that roadway, and it's fine the way it's actually developed," Riley said.
Riley says fatality numbers fluctuate from year to year, so the stats may not be that dependable. The most recent numbers from the Georgia Department of Transportation show Bibb County was ranked third in the state in pedestrian crash rate per 10,000 persons from 2000 to 2006.