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Nashville group pushing for $1.5 million to create Pedestrian Safety Task Force

Photo: FOX 17 News

Walking to the bus stop or along some of Nashville's busiest roads is costing some people their lives. Some advocates say that’s because of the lack of sidewalks, crosswalks and drivers not slowing down. It's a danger Betty Smith knows all too well.

“That’s what we’ve been talking about for the longest. Talking about the sidewalks. We don’t have no sidewalks,” said Smith. “They’re just going to take their time about doing it."

But, not if Walk Bike Nashville can help it.

“It’s really hard. We feel a sense of crisis about it. Every time it happens, we feel a bit of responsibility and we feel everyone should be talking about it,” said Nora Kern, executive director of Walk Bike Nashville.

Kern says they are urging Mayor David Briley to approve $1.5 million in the 2020 budget to create the Pedestrian Safety Task Force. The group would focus on identifying needs of those walking and ensuring their safety. add sidewalks, cross walks, speed reduction and other safety needs. Kern says this move is necessary since 23 people have died in the last 10 years when trying to cross the street.

“This area right in here is like ground zero for the people that are trying to walk and get somewhere,” said Laurie Green, executive director of Southern Alliance for People & Animal Welfare.

Brick Church Pike and Trinity Lane is one of the focal areas. Three people died there in the last year – each of them homeless. Green claims to have known them all.

“It rips my heart out seeing these people going through what they’re going through and being killed simply trying to cross the street,” said Green.

“That is a good feeling to know that someone is thinking about the people who use the bus line,” said Barbara Joseph who rides the bus every day.

If you're interested in learning more about Walk Bike Nashville, click here.

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