Well, it could be worse, but it certainly could be better, too. Transportation for America just released a report on the most dangerous metropolitan areas for pedestrians. The report takes into account the percentage of residents who walk to work and the average annual pedestrian deaths per 100,000 people to acheive a "Pedestrian Danger Index," or PDI. The San Jose-Sunnyvale-Santa Clara area received a PDI of 71.9. Not bad, compared to the highest, a 221.5 earned by Orlando-Kissimmee, FL, but still worse than our fellow Bay Area population center San Francisco-Oakland-Fremont, which scored a 40.9.
- "The San Jose-Sunnyvale-Santa Clara region, which was measured separately [from the SF-Oak-Fremont region], fared worse than its northern neighbor region, with 1.3 deaths per 100,000 residents, in spite of only 1.8 percent of residents walking to work, according to 2000 U.S. Census data. San Francisco-Oakland-Fremont had 1.6 deaths per 100,000 residents, but had a much higher walk-to-work ratio of 3.9 percent."
In any case, the report shows that improvements are needed everywhere. These PDIs will reduce when proper walking and bicycling facilities become a mandatory part of every roadway development project. Check out the report for gobs of data and suggestions for what can be done to improve the state of walking in America.