How Fort Myers, Florida, is Trying to Beat the “Most Dangerous” Rap

Last week it felt a lot like “Groundhog Day,” the Bill Murray movie where every day is repeated with the outcome already known when the latest Dangerous by Design report (formally known as Mean Streets) was released. As it has been in past reports, our state ranks as the most dangerous for pedestrians and our local area is among the worse metro areas in the U.S.

As was the case last time, the four most pedestrian-unfriendly metro areas with populations more than one million, Florida’s Big 4: Orlando-Kissimmee, Tampa-St. Petersburg-Clearwater, Jacksonville, and Miami-Fort Lauderdale Pompano are the country’s most dangerous, according to the report.

The good news is that the Fort Myers- Cape Coral metro area actually improved slightly from the 2011 report. The bad news is that the time period being considered is 2008-2012 so it doesn’t include 2013, a year in which 24 pedestrians were killed on Lee County roads, one of the highest number and largest percentages of all traffic deaths ever recorded here. But even considering this disturbing statistic — and that fact that many more people sustain life-changing injuries — significant progress has been made in efforts to reverse this persistent public health problem. At least from a design standpoint, which is the primary focus of Dangerous by Design.