Tenn. Pedestrian, Bicyclist Deaths Increase

Posted at 10:17 PM, Dec 30, 2015
and last updated 2015-12-30 23:17:36-05

As 2015 wrapped up, new statistics showed it was a dangerous and deadly year for pedestrians in Tennessee.

Numbers from the Tennessee Highway Patrol showed 120 pedestrians and bicyclists were killed across the state so far this year.  Statistics showed 92 people were killed in 2014.

Numbers also increased in Nashville. Members of the non-profit organization Walk Bike Nashville said it’s a troubling trend.

“It’s a reminder despite all the progress, we are facing an alarming trend,” said Josh Palmer, Board President of Walk Bike Nashville.  “Every life lost is one too many.”

Palmer said since 1998, the organization has been working to educate the community about safety issues and working with Metro’s Bike and Pedestrian Advisory Committee to try and add more crosswalks to busy roads and ensure streets have been designed safely.

“Education is important for drivers and pedestrians,” said Palmer.  “We also need to have infrastructure in place so when they are educated they can take advantage of safe options.”

Last month, Mayor Megan Barry announced a plan to allocate $15 million in the next fiscal year for new sidewalk and street paving projects. She said both areas were top priorities as she looks to address the infrastructure needs.

Palmer said in 2016, Walk Bike Nashville will also work to institute the “Vision Zero” program.  It has been adopted in other cities in an effort to strive for zero fatalities.