NASHVILLE, Tenn. - Records showed 2017 was the deadliest year for pedestrians in Metro Nashville with 23 pedestrians being hit and killed on Nashville streets, a more than 25 percent increase from the previous record of 18 set in 2015.
"The number of fatalities is just part of the picture," Nora Kern, executive director of Walk Bike Nashville, said. "Every day there are people who are hit or nearly hit or people who are trying to get to the bus and walk on our streets and feel like they don't have a safe way to do so."
Kern said she was alarmed by the numbers when she received them from police, and she immediately started looking at ways to bring that number down in 2018 and into the future.
"We need to slow down. We need to pay attention. We need to be twice as aware when it's night, when it's dark out," Kern said of both drivers and pedestrians.
While slowing down and being more aware of your surroundings could help the problem, Kern said she believes there could be help in the form of Mayor Megan Barry's transit plan.
"That would really provide a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to re-do some of the most deadly streets," Kern said.
While the transit plan has focused on mass transit solutions, it could also create safer roadways for pedestrians.
"Three of the four most deadly streets in our city are slated for light rail and major re-do of sidewalks, crosswalks, and other infrastructure," Kern explained, adding that the plan has also called for safety improvements near bus stops and around transit centers.