One Alternative to help reduce pedestrians deaths

Updated: Jul. 27, 2018 at 6:33 PM MST
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TUCSON, AZ (Tucson News Now) - Tucson is on pace to set another record for pedestrian deaths.

A teenager died last night while crossing the street at Camino Seco and Speedway bringing the total to this year to 14, the same at this time last year.

The city has taken steps to try to reduce the total such as passing its first ever hands free ordinance and has been handing out about 13 citations a day.

Pedestrians are also a target since some of those who have been struck and killed have not been in a crosswalk.

But there are other, smaller, less noticed measures which are also being taken which might help reduce the total.

The Living Streets Alliance just announce it has received a $10,000 gr ant from AARP to seek ways to make pedestrian access safer.

One of those, may be to adopt a model being used in Austin, Texas which may seem a bit whimsical but it's not.

Intersections are being turned into places of art, like this, which makes a busy pedestrian crosswalk more visible and draws the attention of drivers.

"What people in other cities are finding out, is you don't have to follow a playbook of white lines or yellow lines," said Kylie Walzak, the lead program manager for Living Streets Alliance.

The Alliance will begin the test model at 7th Street and Sixth Avenue, a busy pedestrian crosswalk where a person was recently killed.

"It only involves a little bit of paint and if people don't like it, it can be changed into something else," she said.

Whether the model will move beyond that intersection to others around the city isn't yet known but public input will likely be a factor.

"When you add art elements to an intersection, it raises awareness that there might be more people there but also drives more people there," she said. "People are interested in being there because it becomes more of a place."

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