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Operation Safe Roads: Arizona's District 7 deadliest for pedestrians

Posted at 3:50 PM, Jul 10, 2019
and last updated 2019-07-10 22:06:25-04

PHOENIX — Arizona's District 7 has been named the number one spot in the nation where crossing the street is most likely to cost your life.

A study by Smart Growth America reports there were 344 pedestrian deaths there from 2008 - 2017.

District 7 encompasses Central and West Phoenix, as well as a portion of Glendale.

"Well, I'm not surprised at all," said District 7 Representative Ruben Gallego. "I mean... you know, I live in South Phoenix. There are some areas that don't have complete sidewalks. There are some long stretches of roads where... there are two roads before you even see a crosswalk. So, there are a lot of problems that are creating this scenario."

This study was released on Wednesday and Rep. Gallego is introducing new legislation on the same day with a handful of other lawmakers. It's called "Complete Streets."

"We're start encouraging the modeling and planning of streets to not just be 'car-centric.'"

Representative Gallego said the project will give funds to municipalities and states that create a Complete Streets program.

Part of the requirement is that they set aside five percent of highway money to find ways to make streets safer.

"Visually what you want to see is wider sidewalks, narrow roads, more pedestrian crossing... reinforced speed bumps to slow down cars," Gallego described. "It can be more enforcement by police on people who violate pedestrian crossing laws."

He believes the city of Phoenix would be open to adopting it. But, Gallego thinks it should be implemented count-wide and statewide for the biggest impact.

Right now, the legislation is working its way through committee and the senate. Gallego said he wants to get it read on the floor as soon as possible.

Other districts in Arizona made the top 100 on this list of deadly districts for pedestrians.

District 1, which belongs to Rep. Tom O'Halleran ranked 19th on the list. District 9, ranked 73rd on the list.

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