Project set to make roads safer for pedestrians

Pedestrian deaths in Richmond on the rise

RICHMOND, VA (WWBT) - In less than a week, at least three people have been seriously injured and a 17-year-old was killed near a busy intersection.

"I can't imagine what the victims' families and friends are going through, it's just very heavy," Max Hepp-Buchanan, with Bike Walk RVA, said.

Last week, family members say 17-year-old Rawleak Proyor, a high school athlete, was hit and killed while leaving a job at McDonalds on West Broad Street.

The next day someone else was severely injured when a driver ran off north Parham Road. And Tuesday morning, a pedestrian was hurt on Jefferson Davis Highway.

"Really, we know there are lots of things to be done to prevent people dying on our streets," Hepp-Buchanan said. "I would say the majority of crashes that involve people walking or biking who die because there isn't the safe bike lanes, cross walks, slow streets that people need in order to feel safe and be safe."

Hepp-Buchanan said Bike Walk RVA continues to educate and push for changes in infrastructure to make cities and counties as safe as possible for every one. According a PSA recently released by the organization, there were more pedestrians fatalities in Richmond than any other year on record.

"There are places in the counties that don't have sidewalks and cross walks, but people still need to walk along those places and those tend to be the high crash corridors," Hepp-Buchanan said.

Mechanisville Turnpike and Midlothian Turnpike tend to be two areas in most need of infrastructure changes, according to Bike Walk RVA. There are also small things that can make all the difference for drivers, cyclists and pedestrians.

"[It's important to] pay attention when you're driving, driving the speed limit, [for pedestrians] crossing at places that are safe to cross, and designated to cross," Hepp-Buchanan said.

For pedestrians who may travel at night, it's important to be as visible as possible for drivers, while drivers should also pay close attention to what and who might be on or near the road.

VDOT recently announced a nearly $2 million project to improve pedestrian safety by adding sidewalks, ramps, crosswalks and accessible pedestrian signals at 11 intersections in Henrico and Chesterfield counties.

The project is expected to take at least a year to complete. The locations of those improvements are listed below:

  • Genito Rd. (Rt. 604) and Brandermill Parkway (Rt. 1921)
  • Coalfield Rd. (Rt. 754) and North Woolridge Rd. (Rt. 688)
  • North Woolridge Rd. (Rt. 688) and Charter Colony Parkway (Rt. 950)
  • Patterson Ave. (Rt. 6) and Gaskins Rd. (Rt. 157)
  • Gaskins Rd. (Rt. 157) and Gayton Rd.
  • Gaskins Rd. (Rt. 157) and Quioccasin Rd.
  • Quioccasin Rd. (Rt. 157) and Pemberton Rd.
  • Lakeside Ave. (Rt. 161) and Hilliard Rd. (Rte. 356)
  • West Broad St. (Rt. 250) and North Gayton Rd.
  • Mechanicsville Turnpike (Rt. 360) and Laburnum Ave. (Rt. 197)

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