City Council Looking to Improve Pedestrian Safety

SPRINGFIELD, Mo.--Pedestrian accidents involving cars have claimed the lives of five people this year in Springfield.

According to transportation engineers, the city is above the national average in this area. 

On Tuesday, Springfield city council listened to recommendations from Vice President Shawn Leight of CBB Transportation Engineers and Planners on what should be implemented to improve pedestrian safety.

Asking people how to survive walking the streets of Springfield is like asking a little boy how to beat a video game.

 "Oh you have to watch the light," says a pedestrian. 

" I'm looking in the back of me, I look in the front of me," says Springfield resident, Della Gardner.

"Just try to be aware of where the traffic's coming from and what's going on around me," says Springfield resident, Matthew Borgmeyer.

It's these techniques that haven't always been followed. Springfield is above the country's average in deadly car versus pedestrian crashes. 

 "When you look at a national level, pedestrian fatalities are about 15% of the total roadway fatalities every year. In Missouri, that's about 12%. In Springfield, it's pretty close to 16%," says Shawn Leight of CBB Transportation Engineers and Planners. 

The city isn't proud of those numbers so they're listening to Leight on what needs to change; starting with identifying the city's trouble spots for pedestrians.

"First one roadways with high speeds. Traffic volumes also comes into play. Finally, there's this issue with median width," says Leight.

So here's what Leight says could be the solution to the problem; restrict pedestrians to sidewalks or areas with low traffic volumes and speeds.

Another recommendation for city council to consider is to not allow pedestrians to stand on medians less than six feet wide, which are considered dangerous
especially on a busy street like Glenstone. 

"Springfield drivers I think is they're in a rush, they're on their cell phones, they're talking, they're smoking, they're really not paying a lot of attention," says Gardner. 

City council will be addressing the recommendations at its next meeting this Monday. 

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