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Pittsburgh wants to make streets safer with Vision Zero

Pittsburgh leaders introduce Vision Zero
Pittsburgh leaders introduce Vision Zero 02:10

PITTSBURGH (KDKA) — Pittsburgh is putting a new plan in place to cut down on fatal crashes. 

City leaders said the goal is to make Pittsburgh safer for those who are walking and biking. Vision Zero, according to leaders, has proven effective across Europe, and they believe the same can be accomplished in Pittsburgh. 

The goal? Seeing zero fatal crashes on roadways. According to Pittsburgh leaders, it will be accomplished through traffic calming interventions. That includes speed bumps, more cycling lanes, extending the width of the sidewalk and curb lines at intersections and prohibiting turns on red, just to name a few. 

From 2018 through the pandemic, the number of crashes in the city went up 71 percent. In 2023, there were 21 fatal crashes, seven of which involved pedestrians. 

City leaders also talked about non-fatal crashes. Chakara Walker's 11-year-old daughter was hit by the driver of a vehicle on Dec. 13, 2023, at the intersection of Brighton Road and Jacksonia Street on the North Side. 

"The intersection is not safe for anybody to cross," Walker said. 

Walker came to Monday's news conference to ask what is being done. Officials said the traffic signal, which hasn't been touched in at least 50 years, will be replaced in the spring. 

"I care about everybody's kids," Walker said. "I don't want anybody to see what I saw on Dec. 13. I got to go to that intersection, I live right there, I close my eyes."

According to the Department of Mobility and Infrastructure, 10 percent of our streets contribute to crashes. Hot spots include East Ohio Street and Liberty Avenue. 

"Eighty-three percent of serious injury crashes and 78 percent of roadway fatalities within the city of Pittsburgh are happening on that 10% of streets," said Kim Lucas, director of DOMI

City leadership said they are also working with PennDOT.

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