Deadly pedestrian crashes are on the rise in Nashville. 23 walkers were killed in Nashville in 2018, tying the record set in 2017.
Walk Bike Nashville is behind a new petition to make the streets safer for pedestrians. The group wants Metro to create a new Pedestrian Safety program within Metro Works with at least two staff members focusing on road safety concerns as their primary responsibility.
“This is definitely about helping people who are currently walking like myself and helping who people who might want to walk more but don’t feel safe doing so," said Nora Kern with Walk Bike Nashville.
Staffers working under the Pedestrian Safety Program would also be responsible for making an annual report to Metro Council starting December 2019 on how many pedestrians have been killed in the past year, which intersections are seeing safety improvements, and which areas need help.
Walk Bike Nashville is recommending city leaders set aside $1.5 million annually to address top pedestrian crash locations.
“When we know we have people getting killed at the same location each year, we think that should be put pretty high priority," said Kern.
Annabliss Dean and Addie Roach are Belmont University students who say they are constantly walking.
“I feel safe most of the time but I feel like they could do a better job. I definitely have cars just coming out of nowhere feeling like I might get hit,” said Dean.
She points to a lack of crosswalks for some streets not being as safe.
“Place like that, that’s what scares me, people not paying attention,” said Dean.
Walk Bike Nashville says these are the 14 priority locations needing safety improvements:
- Lafayette St between Charles Davis Blvd and Claiborne St
- Gallatin Pike between Old Hickory Blvd and Maple St
- Charlotte Ave between 3rd Ave N and 5th Ave N
- 21st Ave between 19th Ave South and Edgehill Ave
- Murfreesboro Pike between Bell Road and Rural Hill Rd
- Dickerson Pike between Trinity Ln and Gatewood Ave
- Gallatin Pike between Due West Ave and Berkley Dr
- Church St between 15th Ave N and 16th Ave N
- Broadway between George E. Davis Blvd and 11th Ave
- Clarksville Pike between Buena Vista Pike and Cliff Dr
- Gallatin Pike between Harrington Ave and south of Maple St
- Murfreesboro Pike between Thompson Ln and Bowwood Ct
- Gallatin Pike between Eastland Ave and Chickamauga Ave
- Gallatin Pike between Shepherd Hills Dr and Liberty Ln
Kern says about 80% of them are state roads, have at least four lanes of traffic and high speed limits. She would like to see more lighting added as well as more crosswalks with flashing lights and sidewalks.
“There’s been some small steps to address some of these dangerous streets but there is clearly a lot more that needs to be done," said Kern.
More than 300 people have already signed the petition, including almost two dozen metro council members. You can see the petition by clicking here.
You can also view an interactive showing you where the top 14 dangerous intersections are for pedestrians in Nashville by clicking here.