Sep 6, 2022 - News

Phoenix's dangerous streets take center stage in new documentary

A movie poster for "The Street Project" with information about a screening.
Courtesy of "The Street Project"

A new documentary distributed through PBS International looks at Phoenix's high rates of pedestrian fatalities. It also encourages viewers to imagine how American streets could be made safer for pedestrians and bicyclists.

State of play: "The Street Project" dives into why pedestrian deaths have increased more than 50% nationwide from 2009 to 2018 and follows citizen activists looking to redefine society's relationship with streets.

  • Phoenix activist Stacey Champion, who became a leader for street safety after motorists hit five pedestrians using a crosswalk in her neighborhood, is profiled in the film.
  • The documentary contrasts Phoenix's roadways with Copenhagen's. The European city redesigned its streets in the 1980s and is now considered one of the most bike-friendly places in the world.

By the numbers: More than 220 pedestrians were killed on Arizona roads in 2020, according to the most recent data reported by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration.

  • The state had the sixth-highest pedestrian fatality rate, with about three pedestrian deaths per 100,000 people.

What they're saying: "America’s streets started out as bicycle and pedestrian friendly; however, the advent of the car culture changed everything," director and executive producer Jennifer Boyd said in a statement.

  • "We created 'The Street Project' to raise awareness that cars, pedestrians and cyclists can coexist, and that we need to examine our history so we can create a future with better alternatives."

How to watch: The documentary will be screened at 6:30pm Thursday at AMC Arizona Center 24.

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