There have been 87 pedestrian deaths in the greater Tucson area over the past five years. The city is now working on a new plan to help increase pedestrian safety. Due to the high number of fatal crashes, the Federal Highway Safety Administration designated Tucson as a pedestrian safety focus city.
Traffic experts are meeting met with some local leaders to figure out how to change that. Today was day one of the three day pedestrian safety action plan workshop. Experts with the Federal Highway Safety Committee spoke to local leaders, Tucson police and transportation officials about what needs to be done here in Tucson. They looked at things like data from crashes, where the most accidents happen and whether or not any enforcement or structural changes need to be made.
"For motorists, one thing we keep hearing is speed and really being mindful of not speeding and not being distracted," said Ann Chanecka, the city's program manager for bicycle and pedestrian safety. "For those walking, we've been talking a lot about how we have a lot of the push button crossings in Tucson and that if you are within 50-100 feet it is worth it to go over and cross at those crossing beacons."
At the end of the three day workshop, city officials are hoping to develop a draft plan of changes that can be made to protect both pedestrians and drivers in the near future. The city is looking to hear from the public about what changes they think need to be made.
If you would like to attend one of the workshop sessions over the next few days contact Ann Chanecka at Ann.Chanecka@tucsonaz.gov