BOSTON (CBS) – I know you’re probably sick of the endless stream of surveys that purport to rank American cities by various measures. Most of them aren’t worth the time we spend talking about them.
Why, a few years back, one of them rated Boston among the most unfriendly cities in America, can you imagine that?
Those jerks better not show up around these parts or they’ll discover what unfriendly really means.
But this week I saw one from a national safety group rating top U.S. cities for pedestrian danger, and guess what? The Boston area was the safest place in the country to take a walk.
It seems the key factor is our size.
“The less dangerous regions tend to be more compactly developed,” they say, so places like Orlando and Phoenix with wide, highway-style streets are more dangerous than our traffic-clogged but more pedestrian-friendly cowpaths.
That makes sense, because our safety standing certainly can’t be attributed to the common sense and courtesy of our drivers, bicyclists and, yes, pedestrians.
I have driven in at least 14 different states over the years and have never seen a more self-centered, inconsiderate collection of road warriors than we have right here.
Between drivers with no regard for human life, bikers with bad attitude, and pedestrians cocooning with their headphones, cell phones and daydreams, it’s every man and woman for him or herself out there.
We’re lucky to live in a place designed on a relatively rational human scale. As I was saying Thursday, small is beautiful.
But let’s not let it go to our heads.
We still have to learn how to walk in each other’s shoes.
Listen to Jon’s commentary:
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