NDOT working to move city in a safer direction after 39 pedestrian deaths in 2020

Police: 18 pedestrian deaths so far in 2021
generic pedestrian sign
Posted at 5:50 PM, Aug 09, 2021
and last updated 2021-08-09 19:38:24-04

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (WTVF) — It was the worst year for people walking in Nashville. In 2020, 39 people were killed by vehicles. And to date, Nashville has had more pedestrian deaths than this time in 2020.

According to Metro Nashville Police Department, there have been 18 deaths in Davidson County so far this year. In 2020, there had been 17 pedestrian deaths year-to-date, according to the state.

"Those are alarming statistics for us and those that we want to be sure that we're addressing," said Faye Dimassimo, interim director of the Nashville Department of Transportation & Multimodal Infrastructure (NDOT.)

NDOT, which officially launched in July, began working to make dangerous corridors safer for pedestrians.

"I think the pikes in particular. What you've often got are higher speeds and sometimes lighting issues," Dimassimo said.

Dimassimo believes the new 25 mph speed limit in most residential neighborhoods will have a positive effect on main roads.

"When you slow down in a neighborhood, and you become more aware of your surroundings and you become aware of all the transportation activity, whether that is people on feet, in cars, on bikes... behavior changes. It carries with you over to the major roadway system as well," she said.

The people walking, who died in lanes of Nashville traffic last year, may be who helps the city move in a safer direction.

NDOT is visiting the scenes of fatal pedestrian crashes with community organizations like Walk Bike Nashville as well as the police department.

"They oftentimes will host an after-action review at one of these locations where an incident has occurred, a fatality has occurred, and we will go out there with them as a part of a comprehensive team of folks," she said.

Transportation officials created a survey to help them understand the traffic safety concerns of the residents of Nashville. They hope to publish results and solutions later this year.