Zero action to make roads safer for walkers
In October 2017, Mayor Levar Stoney pledged to have safer streets in the city of Richmond and announced his Vision Zero Action Plan.
Since I live in the Fan District, I was very excited that there would be a greater effort to make it safer for pedestrians to cross the streets at designated crosswalks. Unfortunately, I have seen little change and, in fact, I believe things have worsened. Just yesterday I was crossing Main Street at a crosswalk and a car turning left onto Main narrowly missed hitting me and would have if I hadn’t taken a running leap when I saw him. I have waited long periods of time at crosswalks watching cars speed by and even watched police cars fly though them. And despite pedestrian yield signs on Monument Avenue at the traffic circle by the Robert E. Lee statue, I have had only one car ever stop for me.
In California, it’s a totally different story. As soon as anyone is on the curb at a crosswalk, cars immediately stop and allow the pedestrian to cross the street. And police will readily ticket drivers who do not follow the rules. California should be our role model. I hope Stoney will keep his pledge to make Richmond streets safer for all of us.
Mathis Kirby Powelson.