NASHVILLE, Tenn (WTVF) — The year 2020 has been tragic and not just because COVID-19, but it's been fatal for pedestrians as well.
Walk Bike Nashville says Old Hickory Boulevard is one of the most dangerous streets in Nashville. It was just a few days ago when a man was killed crossing the intersection.
The advocacy group for safer streets is calling for more safety measures.
"These deaths really are preventable, we can stop people from being killed while walking," said Lindsey Ganson with Walk Bike Nashville.
Ganson said in 2019, there were a total of 30 people killed by cars by just walking down Nashville streets. She says that was a record-breaking year but it's not anymore.
"We had 34 pedestrians killed already this year, 34 people killed by just walking trying to get around town," Ganson said.
It’s only November and Ganson said these numbers put 2020 as the deadliest year for pedestrian deaths in Nashville history.
"It’s devastating, I know we’ve had a very difficult year; 2020 has been devastating and we’ve all been grieving and there’s been so much loss but that’s what makes this even more tragic," said Ganson.
Walk Bike Nashville doesn’t want to fix every city street, just the ones where these fatalities keep occurring - streets like Charlotte Pike, Murfreesboro Road, Gallatin Pike and Nolensville Road.
"We can add things like more crosswalks, or we can narrow the traffic lanes to encourage drivers to slow down if we put a pedestrian island in the middle of the roadway; all of these things make it much more safe for pedestrians," Ganson said.
Ganson said she understands these are trying times and the Metro government’s number one concern is fighting COVID-19. But she says the fight for safer streets will not go away unless there is action.
"Now we know that we’re going to be living with COVID-19 for some time and we know the resources it’s going to take to some extent to battle it," Ganson said. "We need to also not put all of the other city’s priorities on hold and we need to still move forward with the promises and commitments made to continue to keep pedestrians safe."
Walk Bike Nashville will kick off it’s Look For Me campaign next week. On Sunday the group will host its annual World Day of Remembrance for victims of pedestrian fatalities. It will take place at 8:30 a.m. on the southwest corner of the Ardee Ave and Gallatin Pike intersection, in front of Sip Cafe.