Safer Streets Wanted in the City

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A couple dozen people rallied in front of City Hall yesterday to show their desire for safer streets in Memphis, as just in the first four months of 2017 fifteen pedestrians were killed in traffic.

At least once a day, everyone in the city is a pedestrian, says Anthony Siracusa, president of Bike Walk Tennessee.

"Our city needs to make a commitment to protecting pedestrians, the most vulnerable people who are in our public space," Siracusa said.

He believes that apart from building sidewalks and improving infrastructure, the first step the City should take to improving pedestrian safety is assuming a leading role in enforcing the existing laws put in place to protect pedestrians.

"By state law you are required to yield to a pedestrian at a crosswalk and by city ordinance you're required to stop," said Siracusa. "How often does that happen in the city of Memphis?"

Others present at the rally were members of the community who have experienced the woes of unsafe streets and are working to improve them, like Larissa Thompson whose fiance was killed by a distracted driver in 2012.

Thompson says since then she's started an organization called Collegiate Life Investment Foundation, which aims to educate young people on the consequences of distracted driving.

Also, Thompson who is a part of the Memphis Medical District Collaborative, says next month the group is kicking off their Vision Zero campaign, aiming to have zero pedestrian fatalities in the district by 2020.


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