FORT WORTH (CBSDFW.COM) – MedStar has ambulances stationed on both ends of a stretch of Lancaster Avenue in east Fort Worth lined with numerous homeless shelters and service providers.
They’re to deal, in part, with the high potential for people to be hit by drivers in a congested stretch of road about a mile long.
In fact, a female pedestrian was hit at the Lancaster/Riverside intersection Monday night.
“It’s very dangerous especially at night time,” said James Ball who walks to and from a shelter in the area.
Ball is extremely careful when he walks the mile of Lancaster known as Shelter Row. It stretches from Riverside in the east to I-35.
“I stay way over from the road and as far over as I can,” Ball said.
Medstar pulled the numbers for auto-pedestrian calls in Fort Worth for the past few years.
They found the number of people hit by cars in this mile-long stretch of Lancaster in 2015 was 82-percent higher than the average for the rest of Fort Worth.
“The area on Lancastor where some of the homeless shelters are has a lot of pedestrian traffic 24-hours a day, seven days a week,” said MedStar’s spokesman Matt Zavadsky. “And, a lot of vehicle traffic because that is pretty much a thorough fare from downtown to the east side.”
Video shot driving down the street in the middle of the afternoon shows people passing in front of, through and behind a cluster of cars that appeared not to be following speed limit set as slow as a school zone.
The city decided not to build a pedestrian bridge in 2011, but it’s working now to find other ways of increasing safety.
At the Riverside intersection, the city is already putting in brighter lights, wider sidewalks and enhanced markings for the crosswalk.
“You can see that the city is making improvements right now to the area,” said Fort Worth Police Department spokesperson Officer Tamara Valle. “There is a lot of construction as I said. It’s coming. It’s just taking time.”
But until improvements are complete, Valle said drivers need to slow down and pay extra attention to the road.
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