Did you know that one out of every 100 crashes in our region involves a pedestrian? Or that the number jumps to 27 out of every 100 when it comes to fatal crashes? That means a pedestrian fatality occurs in nearly 30 percent of all fatal crashes in the region. More disturbing is that this trend has been increasing over the past five years. While communities around the Valley work every day to improve safety, challenges include inadequate levels of funding available through the Highway Safety Improvement Program. During a recent Regional Council meeting, staff reported that over the past several years, local agencies in the MAG region have not been able to get funding from the dedicated federal funding for safety projects that is “anywhere equal to the crash trends demonstrated.” An Arizona Republic article dated July 2, 2018, reported that 52 pedestrian involved fatal crashes had occurred as of that date just in Maricopa County. Using that number to project fatal pedestrian crashes through 2018, MAG estimates approximately 103 pedestrian-involved fatal crashes by year’s end. While no death is acceptable, that would represent a decrease from the 155 who died in 2017. “We can only hope a downward trend is in our future,” said MAG Chair Gail Barney, mayor of Queen Creek. “Safety will continue to be a priority for MAG. It will certainly be a cornerstone of the next generation transportation plan, which would need to be funded through a future extension of Proposition 400, which sunsets in 2025.” In the meantime, MAG staff, in partnership with local agency staff, will continue to explore low cost safety initiatives, including education programs.