City releases plan to protect pedestrians
Reporter: Jessica Chapin
TUCSON (KGUN9- TV) - Deadly pedestrian accidents are on the rise, and Tucson city officials are taking action. 9 On Your Side dug deeper into the cause of some of the recent fatal accidents, and now some local intersections will get a make-over and increased enforcement.
"I would say that these issues are always on my mind, public safety is paramount for not only me but the mayor and council," said city manager Richard Miranda, "But, when we take a look at the statistics, we take a look at what happened last week, there are some common sense approaches that need to be made, and this was one of them."
The city released plans to install a new HAWK light in the intersection of 22nd and Randolph, the same intersection where a 13-year-old boy was hit and killed last week. The light is one of seven they have approved over the next two years, but Miranda says lights aren't enough.
"That doesn't remedy the problem," he said, "there has to be some teeth behind it in terms of enforcement but again there's some personal responsibility that has to be activated."
Those "teeth" will be in the form of a task force made up of police, parks and recreation personnel, and the Tucson Fire Department. They will educate the public about traffic safety issues.
Tucson Fire Capt. Trish Tracy told 9 On Your Side their first task is to include pedestrian safety in their current school outreach programs.
"All the most common childhood-type injuries are included in these types of programs," she said, "and pedestrian safety will be incorporated into that program as well."
With added enforcement, education and signals, the city hopes to save lives in 2012.
In addition to the light at 22nd and Randolph, new HAWK lights have been approved for the following intersections:
-Swan and 3rd St.
-Speedway and 10th Ave.
-Broadway and Old Spanish Trail
-Stone Ave. and King St.
-Park Ave.and 33rd St.
-Golf Links and La Paloma Academy
The city also has a list of more than 50 intersections where they'd like to place some sort of signal for pedestrians. Those locations do not yet have funding. The city will also work with TPD to determine intersections with increased accidents so they can prioritize upcoming projects.