NewsOperation Safe Roads


Fixing the troubling trend of pedestrian-involved crashes around the Valley

Posted at 8:11 PM, Sep 24, 2018
and last updated 2018-09-24 23:37:17-04

Safe commuting. It's a shared responsibility between drivers, bicyclists and walkers like Karen Elam.

"They'll (drivers) hurry up and turn instead of watching out for you," Elam said. "So I feel like people are not really paying attention." 

Elam has lived near 16th Street and Broadway Road in south Phoenix for nearly two decades.

"Don't dare jaywalk because you're taking your life into your hands because people are not going to stop," she said.

A man was hit Saturday night crossing Broadway Road near 14th Street and was left in critical condition.

A grandmother and 3-year-old grandson were struck by a hit and run driver nearby on 16th Street and Broadway Road on Friday. The grandmother died at the scene, and the child died overnight in the hospital. Witnesses tell police the boy may have tripped as they were trying to cross.

"When you see that approaching vehicle, if you don't know how fast they are traveling you're not going to know how much time you have to cross," said Sgt. Vince Lewis, Phoenix Police Spokesperson.

Sgt. Lewis said two factors are often part of these pedestrian crash equations: pedestrians crossing mid-block and trying to beat oncoming traffic.

"In order to judge distance with an approaching vehicle and how much time you have to cross, that's a skill," he said.

We've reported 69 fatal pedestrian-involved crashes in the valley this year. There are city and county-wide efforts to make Valley streets more pedestrian friendly.

Maricopa Association of Governments chose 14 locations Valley-wide to install a traffic control device called the Hawk System to stop traffic and allow pedestrians to cross safely.  

FULL SECTION: Operation Safe Roads

Margaret Boone said the project is approved for 2021-2022. The city has also talked about adopting a nationwide program called Complete Streets which would widen sidewalks, plus implement more crosswalks and bike lanes.