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Dallas Improving Cedar Springs For Pedestrian Safety

DALLAS (CBSDFW.COM) - After a series of pedestrian accidents along Cedar Springs Road at the end of 2011, the City of Dallas and the Cedar Springs Merchants Association have begun implementing traffic safety improvements to make the area safer.

More lighting and at least one new stop light will soon be added to the popular Cedar Springs Entertainment District after 4 pedestrian accidents along the busy streets. Two of those were hit and run accidents that ended in fatalities.

One of the victims was Edward Lee King, 62, known as Joe, who was killed as he tried to cross Cedar Springs.

"My brother was probably one of the most kindest persons you ever wanted to meet," said Ray Paige, who identified himself as King's brother.

The identity of the hit and run driver that killed King remains unknown, but since his death, the Cedar Springs Merchant's Association has pushed the city to install flashing eye level lights at crosswalks to warn drivers of pedestrians. It was the first step of many the city and the CSMA plan to take to the make the area safer. David Robinson, President of the CSMA, said since the lights were installed in January "it's made it considerably safer."

But some regular customers and business owners worry it's still not enough.

"I think as a driver, sometimes at night the lights and stuff that they've put in have made it harder to drive and see pedestrians cross the road just because they are so bright you can't actually see what's there," said Timothy Grippa, who lives in the neighborhood. "I actually prefer the lights that were in the road because they kind of shine up on people. I kind of wonder if regular street lighting would help."

That's the next step, according to Richardson. He says new street and ambient lighting will likely go up around early summer, making pedestrians easier to see and even more changes are coming over the next 9 months.

"We are going to put lighting across the street to make it look like an entertainment district," Richardson said.

And a new stop light at Cedar Springs and Knight will go up in the next few months. The city is looking at making it one directional, allowing only right turns onto Cedar Springs from Knight.

Residents say along with the improvements, they'd like to see more police presence as well.

The other issue in the area is parking. The possibility of a new parking garage that would add 750 to 1000 parking spaces is very real, according to Robinson, but, he added, it's too early to know, where it would be built and who would pay for it.

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