JACKSONVILLE, Fla. --The driver of a fatal Saturday hit-and-run is still at large.Florida Highway Patrol says 19-year-old Christopher McDowellwas hit and left to die on the Southside.

RELATED:Family seeks help to find fatal hit-and-run driver

The incident has caused concerns and raised the question -- just how safe are pedestrians in Jacksonville?

One website doesn't answer that question, but it does offer some insight.

One website,, ranks Jacksonville as the 49th most walkable city in the United States -- but some neighborhoods are most pedestrian friendly than others.


The Southside, where McDowell was hit, is ranked the 12th most walkable neighborhood in Jacksonville. According to the website, 'Walk Score' measures the walkability of any address and ranks it on a scale of 0-100.

Overall Jacksonville has a score of 26, making it a car-dependent city where mosterrands require a car, according to the website.

The top 5 most walkable Jacksonville neighborhoods:

Downtown - 73

Springfield - 68

San Marco - 68

Riverside - 67

Fairfax - 67

The Walk Score methodology was developed with the Walk Score advisory board and has been validated by leading academic researchers, the website writes.Data sources include Google,, Open Street Map, the U.S. Census, Localeze, and places added by the Walk Score user community.

The most walkable cities according to the site are New York, San Francisco and Boston.

The study doesn't mean pedestrian friendly cities are any safer, it just means more people are likely to walk there. The drivers and pedestrians are still responsible for maintaining safety - and when they don't- it can be very tragic.


FHP said McDowell was walking back to his extended stay living suite on St. Johns Bluff Road when he was hit sometime before 3:30 a.m. Saturday. A JSO officer on patrol found his body.

McDowell moved out of his aunt and uncle's house the day before his death. The family says he was accepted into FSCJ and wanted to become independent by moving out on his own into the InTown Suites Extended Stay Living on St. Johns Bluff Road.

After stopping at a nearby Kangaroo station he was attempting to walk back to his room when police say he was hit. There was no sidewalk for McDowell to walk on in that strip of St. Johns Bluff near Alden Road.

FHP investigators were still looking for clues to help find the driver ofa SUV or Pick-up truck that is gray metallic or silver metallic Monday afternoon. It should have damage in the front right area.

Anyone with information is asked to call Crimestoppers at 1-866-845-TIPS.


A helpful tip for pedestrians if you are walking on a roadway that does not have sidewalks walk facing the road traffic - if you can dress in light colors and wear reflective material. If you're walking at night, carrying a flashlight could help.