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Cary Responds to Report on Pedestrian Safety

November 12, 2009 | Story by: | Categories: Environment, Vox Populi


In response to our story on pedestrian safety in Cary, Town Councilman Don Frantz (District B) sent us a fact sheet from the Town of Cary staff.

Here are Don’s comments ~

After reading the story posted on CaryCitizen about Raleigh/Cary’s ranking in TFA‘s pedestrian safety study I was very concerned and inquired with staff as to the data for Cary alone.  I have attached  what I was sent by our town staff as I thought you might be interested.

The Town of Cary takes public safety very seriously and any loss of life is unacceptable. We can do better, and we strive to do better. Keep up the good work on the website.

Our thanks to Don Franz and to all the Town staff and officials for striving to make Cary a safer, better place.


The Raleigh metropolitan area, which includes Cary, was ranked as the sixth most dangerous metropolitan area for pedestrians in the U.S. according to a report issued by the Surface Transportation Policy Partnership and Transportation for America. The report looked at the top 52 metro areas (those with at least one million residents as of 2008) and used data from 2007 and 2008 to come up with the ranking based on factors such as:

  • Average pedestrian fatality rate per 100,000 residents over a two-year  period
  • Percentage of residents who commute to work by foot (see report footnote on page 17 – data point comes from the 2000 Census and fails to include on all the non-work related pedestrian trips)


During 2007-08, the Raleigh-metro area had 43 pedestrian deaths. While every death is a terrible tragedy, only one of those deaths was in Cary; a second occurred just outside Town limits in Cary’s urban service area on NC 55.  Neither of the Cary deaths appear to have been work-related.

Pedestrian-Friendly Improvements

  • The Town has a sidewalk request program in place that is funded at $1 million annually; now in its 14th year, there were 10 projects funded last year.
  • The Town maintains a sidewalk inventory. Currently there are 365 miles of sidewalk in the Town with 44 additional miles planned/proposed.
  • The Town of Cary has a Comprehensive Pedestrian Plan in place guided by a Pedestrian Advisory Committee and extensive public input that focuses on pedestrian safety, accessibility and connectivity, and highlights best practices, priority sidewalk improvements, and policy recommendations. This information is available on the Town’s Web site at www.townofcary.org.     Goal 1 of the Pedestrian Plan is to “provide a well-connected, ADA-compliant pedestrian network for the Town of Cary that will provide convenient and pleasant access to all major destinations, for work and play.”      Goal 2 of the plan is to “develop pedestrian facilities throughout Cary that promote a healthy lifestyle and allow all residents and visitors to safely walk to destinations.”
  • The Town has implemented a pedestrian-activated signal policy/cross-walk policy/traffic calming policy.
  • There are 32 greenway trails with more than 39 miles of trails for walking in Cary.
  • Cary has received national recognition as a “Bicycle-Friendly Community” by the League of American Bicyclists.
  • The Town coordinates regionally with numerous pedestrian-focused groups, including CORE and the bicycle/pedestrian stakeholder group through CAMPO.

Infrastructure Investment

  • The Town requires all new and improved roads to include sidewalks. In addition, all of our land use and area plans include a pedestrian component.


One Response to Cary Responds to Report on Pedestrian Safety


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  1. Robert Campbell

    November 17, 2009 at 10:30 AM

    I take exception to the ‘all new and improved roads to include sidewalks’ statement — have you looked around? Sidewalks? Really? Maybe, and only maybe on ONE SIDE of a street — why are we (the TOC) falling into the trap of making yet another city that is more CAR CENTRIC than PEOPLE CENTRIC. I think we need to keep this in mind. Seriously, do you honestly feel safe walking (with the pedestrian green) in the crosswalk on High House going across Davis? I’ve done it and I don’t feel safe at all! Same can be said for almost any crossing.

    As for the trails, I LOVE THEM, but none of them are viable as a means to get anywhere useful — I still dream of being able to ride a bike to work on a trail. I’m 8 miles door-to-door, but the only viable and safe way is in my car. I see bikers riding it, but it’s only a matter of time before an accident happens. If we had another path, devoid of motorized traffic, it would be a shining example of what could be done, of what NEEDS to be done and it could be an example to all.