These are the 9 most dangerous areas for pedestrians in Medellín
An investigation by the National University identified the exact points where most accidents with pedestrians occur in the capital of Antioquia.
Medellín is one of the main cities in Colombia and as it grows it faces the challenges that mobility brings, which is undoubtedly related to road safety. According to figures from the World Health Organization (WHO), an average of 1.3 million people die each year in the midst of road accidents. Those who go inside a car are not always the most affected; on the contrary, pedestrians, cyclists and motorcyclists are the main victims. And the youngest (from five to 29 years) often swell the statistics.
In the last three years, in Medellín alone, close to 700 people have died in road accidents and more than 5,900 were injured. These figures reported by the observatory of the National Road Safety Agency led a Medellín-based statistician from the National University to decide to locate the most dangerous points for pedestrians in the capital of Antioquia.
Jully Patricia Saldarriaga Silva, a candidate for a master’s degree in Statistics, made it clear in her research that the city is still in arrears of georeferencing its accidents to better prevent them. It analyzed databases of mobility, population, land use and other data from Medellín, and compared them to determine precisely where they occur and even the possible trajectory that the pedestrian was taking.
“In this work, statistical techniques were applied to find explanations for accidents, both with injuries and deaths. Currently, in traffic or police reports, the accident is located in the nearest corner and not in the exact address. That is why there is no adequate reading of what things can influence accidents, because it is clear that pedestrians do not only cross at corners”, said Iván Sarmiento’s professor, who advised on the investigation.
Sarmiento also pointed out that this study confirmed that the accident rate is indeed related to speed. “One of the solutions that we could implement is reduction: if the limit is set at 50 km/hour, the city would not lose competitiveness and would even save time because entire lanes would not be closed for hours to deal with incidents,” he explained.
In a statement from the National University of Colombia, Medellín, it is explained that the researcher Saldarriaga took as reference the division of the city into six zones, based on the guidelines of the Department of Planning of the city, and reviewed variables of road hierarchy (if there were highways, via arterial, collector, first or second order), the vehicular flow (circulation of taxis, motorcycles, cars, buses and others), the socioeconomic stratum of the areas, the age criteria of its residents and the uses of I usually.
During the study, only the urban area of the city was taken into account, the sidewalks and corregimientos were excluded. Once the data was selected, it was determined which route the person took to reach the point where the accident occurred. This was important, according to the researcher, because it allowed accidents to be distributed spatially and with regressions it was sought whether there was a relationship between accidents and socioeconomic variables.
As a result, it was possible to identify the 10 most dangerous points for pedestrians in Medellín:
- Patio Bonito
- San Benito
- Tricentenario Belalcázar
- Campo Amor
- Villa Carlota
- San Joaquín
The researcher used statistical models such as Poisson and generalized linear. In addition, it indicates that a heat map built with specific data from the city was proposed by means of a kernel (distribution function), in which the areas where more pedestrians are involved in accidents (red zones) were observed. and its direct relationship with the higher speed roads such as Avenida Regional, Autopista Sur, Carrera 65 and Carrera 80.
The researcher highlighted that, “although Medellín has done work such as the implementation of traffic lights, in some areas such as the center it is vital that people travel with caution. There are places like the Zenú sector (north) where there has been a high accident rate for years and there are still no safe crossings. The idea is that these data serve to review the areas where more accidents occur”.
Finally, he explained that although the points with the highest mortality were located (pedestrians who died in other accidents), a more in-depth statistical analysis was not carried out because the victims were 1% of the injured, that is, the sample was not significant.
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