Study: Seattle ranked No. 6 safest city for pedestrians

Aug 22, 2023, 12:04 PM

Seattle pedestrians...

People use a crosswalk in front of the new Kraken store in downtown Seattle. (Photo: Bill Kaczaraba/

(Photo: Bill Kaczaraba/

Seattle is ranked No. 6 in a study of 37 U.S. metropolitan areas for being the safest city for pedestrians.

KURU Footwear completed the study and published its result last week. Each ranking was based on the city’s number of fatal pedestrian accidents and overall Walk Score from the most updated available data.

The top safest cities for pedestrians are:

  1. New York
  2. Boston
  3. San Francisco
  4. Washington, D.C.
  5. Chicago
  7. Philadelphia
  8. Denver
  10. Los Angeles

Related news: Two pedestrians dead in two separate crashes in Seattle

KURU points out that it’s important to remember that pedestrian safety can vary within different neighborhoods and areas of these cities. It’s always advisable to exercise caution and follow local traffic regulations when walking in any urban environment.

Seattle has 1.06 pedestrian deaths per 100,000 people. It got a walk score of 74.4. Total safety score of 79.

To determine the ranking of the safest & most dangerous U.S. major metro cities for pedestrians, KURU started by finding a list of the cities with a population over 500,000 since the year 2020. It then used Walk Score and the most up-to-date auto-pedestrian fatality rates from the Governor’s Highway Safety Association.

KURU assigned each city a score based on these numbers between 0 and 50 and added them together to create a final safety score out of 100.

“The findings while compiling this report were interesting because huge metros seemed to top the list of the safest cities, despite places like New York City and San Francisco having a bad reputation for being dangerous for pedestrians,” Victoria Schmid of KURU told My Northwest via email.

“With large populations, places like Chicago, NYC, San Francisco, and even Seattle statistically are safer when it comes to pedestrian deaths,” Schmid explained. “For example, Memphis, Tennessee (which ranks last in our study) has a much higher pedestrian death rate than Seattle (9.70 deaths per 100,000 people versus 1.56 deaths per 100,000 people.) Many of these larger cities are actively working to become safer for those who are walking and commuting.”

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Study: Seattle ranked No. 6 safest city for pedestrians