New group fighting for safer roads in Richmond following crashes involving pedestrians, cyclists

Published: Nov. 18, 2019 at 11:32 PM EST
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RICHMOND, Va. (WWBT) - A grassroots movement is underway to make Richmond safer for pedestrians and people who bike around the city. Advocates say the number of crashes and fatalities continues to climb. That’s why they’re trying to get the attention of city leaders.

"There are so many people out there that are in danger, just as Lanie was,” said Patty Kruszewski, who has been on a mission since 2012.

That’s when her daughter, Lanie, was struck and killed by a driver who was texting.

"Because she was well-lit, well-marked and wore a helmet and did everything right, she thought she’d be OK and we all know that’s not the case,” she said.

That’s why a new group is forming called, Richmond Families for Safe Streets. Leaders are concerned after reports pedestrian fatalities have risen 53% across the country since a decade ago.

"In the state, it’s up 63% so higher than the national average and in the Richmond region, the Richmond Metropolitan area, it’s up 250% and that’s not a typo. It’s not an exaggeration. We have a major pedestrian problem in the Richmond region,” said Brantley Tyndall of Sports Backers.

The group is getting the attention of council members Andreas Addison and Michael Jones.

"This month I did a “No Car November” challenge,” Addison said.

He says he’s chosen to walk around Richmond this month to get feel for pedestrian life and a better look at what’s happening.

"Failure to yields, people almost running me over, getting mad at me for walking in the crosswalk,” Addison shared.

It’s why he’s pushing council to step up lighting across Richmond and create more visible crosswalks.

Councilman Jones wants to see a city-wide speed limit. "There’s no reason, in the city of Richmond, why you should travel above 35 mph but it’s done every single day,” he said.

This as folks like Krusewski continues to be front and center in the fight for safer roads.

"We’ve come a long way, but we’ve got a long way to go,” she said.

Richmond Families for Safe Streets is welcoming members - specifically people who have been impacted by tragedies involving drivers and pedestrians or cyclists.

Meanwhile, Addison and Jones have submitted their recommendations to council for review.

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