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Pedestrian Capital of America -- Baton Rouge

This project details the futures of more than 100 cities and towns across the globe as they fight to overcome all the grave socio-environmental challenges of the 21st century. As part of this process, we highlight the future pedestrian capital of the America: Baton Rouge. Louisiana.

Crossing the street is getting more deadly in America; over the past four years or so, the U.S. saw a 16% average increase in pedestrian fatalities. Nearly a third of all traffic accidents prove fatal for pedestrians.

Baton Rouge is one of the most dangerous American cities for pedestrians, with an average of six deaths per 100,000 residents annually.

Transforming Baton Rouge into one of the safest pedestrian cities in America involves a strategic approach focusing on replacing cars with tramways and street cars initially and subsequently transitioning them to walkways for complete pedestrianization. The first phase entails introducing an efficient tramway system, which would significantly reduce the dependency on cars. By prioritizing public transportation, the city can lower traffic congestion, reduce the number of accidents, and improve air quality.

Fort Lauderdale in the future

Baton Rouge in the Future

Trams and street cars offer a safer and more sustainable alternative to cars, providing reliable and accessible transportation for residents and visitors. Establishing dedicated tram lines and ensuring their integration with existing public transit can create a seamless transportation network. This phase also involves enhancing infrastructure to support tram systems, such as building tram stations and ensuring safe pedestrian crossings.

In the second phase, the tramways are gradually replaced with walkways. This shift requires careful urban planning to create a pedestrian-friendly environment. Streets previously dedicated to tram lines would be transformed into wide, landscaped walkways with ample space for pedestrians, cyclists, and recreational activities. The design would include features like benches, green spaces, and public art to make walking appealing and enjoyable.

Implementing this transformation also involves policies to promote walking and cycling, such as incentives for businesses to encourage employees to walk or bike to work, and creating car-free zones to enhance safety and livability. By prioritizing pedestrian infrastructure and discouraging car use, the city can achieve a significant reduction in traffic-related incidents and foster a healthier, more active community.

Furthermore, embracing renewable energy sources for any remaining transportation needs and focusing on sustainable urban development would ensure that Fort Lauderdale becomes not only pedestrian-friendly but also fossil fuel-free. This holistic approach would make Baton Rouge a model for urban safety and sustainability, significantly enhancing the quality of life for its residents.


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