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Savannah alderman proposes adopting traffic, pedestrian safety improvements

Published: Dec. 23, 2021 at 6:22 PM EST
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SAVANNAH, Ga. (WTOC) - On average, 11 pedestrians are hit by drivers in Savannah each month. Most of those crashes happened in the historic district. That’s according to five years of Savannah police crash data analyzed by WTOC Investigates.

The most recent pedestrian involved crash in Savannah that we have on record happened just a few days ago. Two people were hit and killed on Abercorn Street at the 12 Oaks shopping center Sunday.

WTOC is talking to one Savannah leader who believes the city could look to adopt better practices to reduce pedestrian-involved traffic accidents, and explains how.

Savannah 4th District Alderman Nick Palumbo said he believes the city can take a proactive step to reduce pedestrian-involved traffic accidents, by adopting what’s called the Vision Zero strategy.

Vision Zero aims to eliminate all traffic deaths and severe injuries, and increase healthy and equitable mobility for everyone, according to the Vision Zero Network website.

Alderman Palumbo said by taking the Vision Zero pledge, Savannah would commit to focus on improving the design of intersections and roadways to make them safer for pedestrians and bicyclists, and even vehicles.

Palumbo said it would be a multi-year effort to go all in on the Vision Zero strategy, and require supporting city services and traffic engineering staff to make positive changes.

“The design of the motorway is going to dictate the speed of traffic and the cars that drive on it. So if we could design them safely, if we could re-engineer them with more crosswalks, lighting the intersections properly at night, and making sure that pedestrians have the adequate space they need to get to and from point A to point B...that’s going to prevent them well into the future,” Palumbo said.

Alderman Palumbo added it’s his goal to see Savannah become a Vision Zero community in 2022, and to form a citizen advisory board to help identify traffic problem hot spots around the city.

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