Local Organization Works To Improve Pedestrian Safety In Clearwater – Tampa Bay Now

CLEARWATER, Fla. (CW44 News At 10) – The City of Clearwater is working to make roads safer for pedestrians.

Monday morning, Clearwater City Council members voted to join the safe streets Pinellas Action Plan, agreeing to make road improvements over the course of the next few years.

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Leaders of Forward Pinellas say the intersections around the Pinellas Trail are some of the most dangerous areas for people to walk through, but they say more street lights and crosswalks can help with that issue.

“When it’s a person against a two, three-ton vehicle, that vehicle is going to win every time, so we want everyone to be aware of their surroundings, particularly pedestrians who are the most vulnerable people on the roadway,” said Chelsea Favero with Forward Pinellas.

When it comes to crossing the street in Pinellas County, it can be very dangerous.

“In Pinellas County, we see an average of two people are either killed or severely injured every single day on our transportation network and that’s almost double the national average,” said Favero.

Two of those deaths happened just last Friday, one being a 15-year-old boy.

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“It’s absolutely devastating. You never want to hear about a fatality,” said Favero.

Now an organization called Forward Pinellas is trying to make a change.

“Enhancing lighting is very important. Making roadways so they are designed for the context of the area. We shouldn’t have very very wide roads, with fast traffic in downtown areas or neighborhoods,” said Favero.

At Monday morning’s city council meeting in Clearwater, council members joined the safe streets Pinellas Action Plan, allowing money to go towards pedestrian, street improvements and education.

“There are people now with cell phones and all the other things they walk around with and they don’t pay attention anymore. People just walk through the street thinking they will win a battle between them and a car,” said David Allbritton with Clearwater City Council.

One of the first goals of Forward Pinellas is to give people more walkway options.

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“Adding more crosswalks and enhancing the crossings that we have are pretty important. A lot of our signals are spaced really far apart, and people aren’t going to walk a quarter mile out of their way to cross a street,” said Favero.

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