Inglewood community members call for more safety measures where teen was hit in crosswalk

Ardee Avenue and Gallatin Pike
Posted at 3:02 PM, Oct 27, 2021

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (WTVF) — Community members are calling for more safety measures at a busy Nashville intersection after a 13-year-old was hit by a work truck.

Metro police said the teen was seriously hurt on Tuesday after she was struck in the crosswalk area of Gallatin Pike and Ardee Avenue.

Daniel Simpkins, who lives in the neighborhood, said things like this are almost unavoidable if nothing changes.

"You have a lot more people who want to walk in the neighborhood, you have a lot more density being added along Gallatin, you have a lot more restaurants, businesses being put in, people want to walk to those places. Unfortunately, the reality is right now, it's not safe to do that," he said. "I would love to ride my bike down to the grocery store on Gallatin Pike, instead of taking my car, but I'm putting my life in danger doing that."

This map shows serious crashes involving pedestrians in the last three years and there are nearly 300 of them.

Estes Whalen said this is a dangerous intersection by a coffee shop that is popular among neighbors. "I know when it comes to city budget they get thinned out in certain areas, this specific intersection needs some attention. It's just a fact," Whalen said.

He said there have been multiple incidents involving pedestrians in the area. “The other thing that compounded the problem last night is the driver was taking a right over my shoulder this way, you’ve got the sun right there from about 4 to 5 combined with Gallatin, just in general, has a certain level of instability when it comes to motor vehicles respecting pedestrians," Whalen said.

The intersection is at the bottom of a hill which is problematic too. Simpkins said changes need to be made immediately. "Give this road a diet. Cut down from five lanes to three lanes per car traffic, expand the sidewalks, add bike lanes on either side. If you want cars to slow down, you have to make the infrastructure of the road suitable to where they don’t have a choice but to slow down.”

Some people want flashing lights when someone is in the crosswalk.

"People view Gallatin as a fast way to get through East Nashville, and that’s at odds with the density that’s being added. You can’t have both," Simpkins said.

NewsChannel 5's Alexandra Koehn saw a white car try to avoid hitting a pedestrian as a garbage truck was coming down the hill. She also saw pedestrians jaywalk, or not pay attention while covering the story.

The section of the road in question is in Metro's jurisdiction. A spokesperson for Nashville's Department of Transportation said, "NDOT is currently working with the councilmember to identify some quick implementation safety measures that are appropriate to the location."

The driver who hit the teen is not facing charges currently, but the police investigation is ongoing.

Last year, there were 527 crashes in Davidson County that were fatal or caused serious injury.

Pedestrian deaths make up almost a fourth of Nashville's deadly crashes this year. So far 104 lives have been cut short in Davidson County crashes. That's up from 92 currently last year and 85 back in 2019.