Advocates narrow student crosswalk to encourage safe driving

Advocates narrow student crosswalk to encourage safe driving
Published: Sep. 30, 2023 at 4:40 PM MST|Updated: Oct. 2, 2023 at 6:43 AM MST
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TUCSON, Ariz. (13 News) - In the month of September we’ve reported on 30 different serious vehicle-related accidents on the road.

Ten of those involved a pedestrian being struck and seven people were killed.

“We do have a tragedy, honestly around our crashes, fatalities that happen as a result of traffic crashes, and especially pedestrians are very vulnerable on the street because when you’re walking you’re not shielded by a piece of metal in a three-ton machine,” said Living Streets Alliance Director of Strategic Policy and Practice Evren Sönmez.

It’s a problem Sönmez knows all too well: reckless drivers creating a dangerous environment in all areas of town, including school zones.

“Sometimes some people they just like zoom past here like you can’t even see them they’re just like ‘ZOOM’ and they drive fast,” said sixth-grader Melisa Lopez.

The block party Saturday morning was a project over seven years in the making -- transforming the intersection near Pueblo Gardens School to make drivers pay attention.

“It’s just a way to sort of narrow down that area a little bit so that drivers are more aware and slower when they’re approaching the school zone,” Sönmez said.

It also creates a piece of public art the community can enjoy.

“We’re painting,” Lopez said. “There’s like fish popping out and coming out of the water and then there’s like a rainbow. It’s water-themed.”

Sönmez said this mission is one of many she hopes to accomplish not just to increase safety around the area, but to also celebrate the strong sense of community in the neighborhood.

“The people who live in this neighborhood and kids who go to school here are going to be a part of transforming their streets and painting that beautiful mural,” Sönmez said.

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