Pedestrian's death highlights need for safer intersections

Intersections in the city do not provide enough safety for pedestrians, some say.

LITTLE ROCK, Ark. (KTHV) — Two cars crashed into each other Monday morning at 6th and Broadway, but it wasn't the drivers who got hurt. 

“Upon arrival they noticed a Hispanic female that was on the ground with severe injuries,” Lt. Michael Ford, PIO for the Little Rock police department said. 

A pedestrian standing on the sidewalk was hit and later died at the hospital. 

“We do believe that one of the vehicles may have ran a red light,” Lt. Ford said. 

As a result of the accident, one man in Little Rock is reaching out to city leaders to add security.

Jacob Hicks works in downtown Little Rock, he saw Monday's accident unfold and said that's just one of many he constantly sees.

“They should have some sort of blinkers for pedestrians to cross the street, which grabs cars attention,” he said.  

He said he feels there should be security cameras at every intersection. 

“There's just no reason for there not to be some sort of safety net for pedestrians, especially in an area with such high walkability,’ he said. 

Hicks started a petition addressed to Little Rock city Mayor, Mark Stodola, to address the issue. 

“It was a pretty bad scene and I figured enough was enough,” he said. 

The petition states it wants the city to Install Pedestrian Crosswalk Lights and Traffic Cameras at Downtown LR Intersections.

Mayor Mark Stodola responded to the petition with this statement:

Today’s accident is another tragic reminder that cars are not the only users of our streets. As drivers, we must all be aware of the consequences that even a momentary lapse of attention can have. As a city, we have worked hard to improve our bicycle and pedestrian safety and I encourage viewers to visit our BikePed Little Rock pagetand follow BikePed Little Rock on Facebook to educate themselves on how they can be a part of the solution. I also certainly appreciate Mr. Hicks’s effort to get involved. Although as a state highway Broadway is maintained by the Department of Transportation, we have successfully pushed for increased pedestrian signage and altered stoplight timing. Unfortunately, despite my past efforts at changing the statute, traffic cameras remain illegal in Arkansas. That said, efforts like the City’s Complete Streets Ordinance, traffic calming strategies, and Pedestrian Awareness Month can still make a difference and I remain committed to supporting them.

Hicks said he believes that if you ask enough people and the right people, you can get things to change. 

“We can talk to the state legislature and see if we can get some laws passed that allow cities to really take control of the safety within their own boundaries,” Hicks said. 

You can click here to visit Hicks' petition. 

© 2018 KTHV-TV


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