These are the most dangerous states for pedestrians | Wednesday Morning Coffee

The Pennsylvania Turnpike (Douglas Muth/Flickr)

Good Wednesday Morning, Fellow Seekers.

So you may think that you’re playing a real-life game of Frogger every time you try to cross that broad expanse of tarmac that stands between the Keystone Office Building and one of Harrisburg’s best watering holes, The Sturges Speakeasy.

One false move, and you’re likely to get flattened by some overzealous state employee looking to escape the confines of the Departments of Health or Labor & Industry for the vast sprawl of suburbia around the Capital City.

And that’s not to minimize the real danger of the other side of State Street on Allison Hill, where Harrisburg city officials are now trying their darndest to end a parade of pedestrian deaths.

Butt, as much as you might take a deep breath crossing Broad Street in Philly or Grant Street in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania is a pedestrian paradise compared to the Sun Belt, as the map below makes clear:

That data comes to you via the good folks at the Atlantic’s CityLab, with Florida (of course) the deadliest state, by far, for pedestrians (But remind us to never go for a stroll in Maryland or Michigan either — jeez).

Why?

According to CityLab, there are bunch of reasons. But it boils down to one biggie: Sun Belt States have ginormous roads that have plenty of room for cars, but zero room for actual humans. And Florida, which is swimming in these Tamiami Trails of the Damned (if you’ve been to Sarasota, you know what we’re talking about here), is the granddaddy of them all, according to CityLab:

“‘Eight of the top 10 most dangerous metropolitan areas landed in the Sunshine State. ‘It sticks out like a sore thumb,’ Emiko Atherton, the director of the National Complete Streets Coalition at Smart Growth America, said. Atherton emphasized Florida’s automobile-oriented development history, combined with its many population centers, as a primary cause for its unusually lethal numbers.”

But the roads alone aren’t the only culprit. If you’re behind the wheel of some gas-chugging, suburban land-tank, you’re part of the problem, too.

“Less publicized, but of great importance, is the kind of vehicle that more drivers are choosing to drive. Nationally, more Americans can be found behind the wheels of ever-more-massive pickup trucks and SUVs—huge, heavy machines that tower over smaller road users. As a Detroit Free Press investigation revealed last year, their proliferation a leading cause of the national escalation of pedestrian deaths in recent years,” CityLab reported. “it’s harder to spot mere humans from the lofty perch of a SUV driver’s seat, and a person’s odds of survival shrink when she’s struck by heavier machinery.”

Electric scooter, anyone?

Our Stuff:
A group of bipartisan lawmakers have stepped up in support of Gov. Tom Wolf’s plan to raise teacher base pay to $45,000 a yearElizabeth Hardison reports.
Muslim lawmaker in the House appealed for unity the day after a colleague delivered a prayer that was viewed as Islamophobic, Sarah Anne Hughes reports.
Freshman Rep. Movita Johnson-Harrell, who denounced that prayer, has called for Rep. Stephanie Borowicz, R-Clintonto be censured for delivering it. A Muslim cleric, as it turns out, did deliver a blessing on the House floor on Monday, though that was lost in the hustle and bustle (including by us).
One third of Pa. counties are taking action to replace their voting systems by 2020, Hardisonreports.
And House and Senate Democrats, joined by Gov. Tom Wolf, rolled out a package of bills aimed at fighting workplace harassment.

On the Opinion side of the house, state Sen. Wayne Fontana, D-Allegheny, calls on Congress to step up to protect Dreamers in Pennsylvania and beyond.

Elsewhere:
There’s a mumps outbreak at Temple University, and they’re going to vaccinate 1,800 students, The Inquirer reports. Thanks, anti-vaxxers.
The Daily News’ John Baer looks at what the Mueller Report could do for Donald Trump in Pennsylvania.
That controversial House prayer has renewed the debate over the separation of church and state. PennLive takes a look.
Students in the Clairton Schools called off protests after appeals from Antown Rose’smother, The Post-Gazette reports.
A new beer garden is giving Citizens Bank Park a lift, BillyPenn reports.

What Happens on Twitter:

Allentown will offer free, off-street parking during event nights at PPL Center, The Morning Call reports.
A new employee in the Philly DA’s office is working on avoiding deportation for some criminal defendants, WHYY-FM reports.

Here’s your #Pittbsurgh Instagram of the Day:

Stateline.org looks at the challenges facing farm families as farmers retire.
The Green New Deal was defeated in the Senate. Democrats are protesting a ‘sham vote,’ Politico reports.

What Goes On.
The House and Senate gavel in at the customary 11 a.m.
9 a.m., Media Center: The Pa. Legislative Black Caucus touts a package of bills aimed at helping incarcerated women.
9:15 a.m., Main Rotunda: Red Cross Month kick-off event.
11 a.m., Main Rotunda: Pa. Promise rally for lower college tuition and more state $$.
12 p.m, Harrisburg Hilton: Gov. Wolf on how the Farm Bill will help Pa. Farmers.
1 p.m, Main Rotunda: After-school Advocacy Day. And they’ll all learn a very special lesson when it’s done.
2 p.m., Media Center: Retirement Security event. It’s listed as tentative – just like the security of your retirement.
2 p.m. Guv’s Rez: Gov. Tom Wolf and First Lady Frances Wolf get lost in hallways of the house they never use, honoring Female Vets during Women’s History Month event.
2:30 p.m., Main Rotunda: The ‘Citizens Campaign for a Brighter Future for Children.’

What Goes On (Nakedly Political Edition).
8 a.m.: 
Breakfast for Sen. Dave Argall
8 a.m.: Breakfast for Rep. Rob Matzie
8 a.m.: Breakfast for Rep. Steve McCarter
8 a.m.: Breakfast for Sen. Lindsey Williams
Ride the circuit, and give at the max, and you’re out a relatively manageable $5,500 today.

Heavy Rotation.
Here’s one from De La Soul and Snoop Dogg to get your Wednesday going.

Wednesday’s Gratuitous Hockey Link.
Washington downed Carolina 4-1 in Metropolitan Division action on Tuesday night.

And now you’re up to date.

An award-winning political journalist with more than 25 years' experience in the news business, John L. Micek is The Pennsylvania Capital-Star's Editor-in-Chief. Before joining The Capital-Star, Micek spent six years as Opinion Editor at PennLive/The Patriot-News in Harrisburg, Pa., where he helped shape and lead a multiple-award-winning Opinion section for one of Pennsylvania's most-visited news websites. Prior to that, he spent 13 years covering Pennsylvania government and politics for The Morning Call of Allentown, Pa. His career has also included stints covering Congress, Chicago City Hall and more municipal meetings than he could ever count, Micek contributes regular analysis and commentary to a host of broadcast outlets, including CTV-News in Canada and talkRadio in London, U.K., as well as "Face the State" on CBS-21 in Harrisburg, Pa.; "Pennsylvania Newsmakers" on WGAL-8 in Lancaster, Pa., and the Pennsylvania Cable Network. His weekly column on American politics is syndicated nationwide to more than 800 newspapers by Cagle Syndicate.

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