Nine U.S. Mayors Selected for Inaugural Mayors Institute on Pedestrian Safety

Today, the Mayors Innovation Project announced their selections for the inaugural cohort of the Mayors Institute on Pedestrian Safety. The program is a collaboration between the Mayors Innovation Project, AARP, and Smart Growth America.

Nine mayors from across the country were selected from a strong pool of applicants to join the Institute’s first-ever cohort. Participating mayors will receive training and resources from top experts in the field to make immediate safety improvements on their most dangerous streets, along with support to develop implementation plans for longer-term, systemic changes.

Communities across the United States are facing record numbers of pedestrian fatalities. Estimates from the Governors Highway Safety Association show that 7,485 pedestrians were struck and killed in 2021, the highest number in 40 years and one of the biggest single-year jumps in decades. These deaths and serious injuries disproportionately impact Black and brown communities, lower-income neighborhoods, and older adults.

“Across the country, mayors are working to save lives and find solutions that make their streets safer for all users. This work will support local efforts and create replicable models for cities around the country struggling with these common challenges,” said Katya Spear, managing director of the Mayors Innovation Project. “We are proud to collaborate with AARP and Smart Growth America on this important initiative, and we are so grateful to participating mayors for showing leadership on this issue.”

Over the next six months, cohort members will meet virtually with national experts and each other to share experiences and identify solutions to their pedestrian safety challenges.

“The Mayors Institute on Pedestrian Safety will provide the cohort of mayors an opportunity to learn best practices from topic experts and their peers about how to address the epidemic of pedestrian fatalities and better protect their most vulnerable neighbors,” added Beth Osborne, Vice President of Transportation and Thriving Communities at Smart Growth America.

 The mayors selected for this year’s cohort include:

  • Mayor John BautersEmeryville, CA
  • Mayor Indya KincannonKnoxville, TN
  • Mayor Danene SoraceLancaster, PA
  • Mayor Satya Rhodes-ConwayMadison, WI
  • Mayor Cavalier JohnsonMilwaukee, WI
  • Mayor Mark FredaPrinceton, NJ
  • Mayor Malik EvansRochester, NY
  • Mayor Tishaura JonesSt. Louis, MO
  • Mayor Caroline SimmonsStamford, CT

The Mayors Institute on Pedestrian Safety is made possible thanks to generous support from the JPB Foundation. Learn more about the 2023 Mayors Institute on Pedestrian Safety at:



The Mayors Innovation Project is a national learning network for mayors committed to shared prosperity, environmental sustainability, and efficient democratic government. We offer high-quality content that emphasizes innovative, actionable solutions and prioritizes peer exchange.


Smart Growth America helps create healthy, prosperous, and resilient places to live for all people through research, advocacy, and direct community support. Our work spans housing and land use, transportation, and economic development to find solutions to communities’ most pressing needs. We work with elected officials at all levels, real estate developers, chambers of commerce, transportation, urban planning professionals, and residents to improve everyday life for people across the country through better development.