DALLAS (CBSDFW.COM) – With more than 130,000 workers moving through downtown Dallas each day—the message for motorists is simple: “Pay attention! Let us cross!,” shouted one worker today. State law already gives pedestrians the right of way in crosswalks.
“That really won’t matter if I’m squished,” added Sonya Bible with a chuckle, “so I’m just trying to be safe.” Good point. So Bible, who works downtown, says she always hesitates before crossing the street—stopping for the drivers who don’t always stop for her. “They don’t understand that this is a cross walk, they’ll speed by or stop at the very last minute.”
If at all.
“This past June my brother who lives in Chicago got hit crossing the crosswalk,” says Ania Joy, who also works downtown. “He and his wife were crossing and they were both hit. The car kept going. They both ended up in the hospital.”
In downtown Dallas, new construction and ongoing revitalization efforts in the past decade have turned empty buildings and decaying storefronts into destinations. Still, supporters know: “frankly, if it ain’t safe… ain’t nobody coming,” says John Crawford.
Crawford is the President and CEO of Downtown Dallas, Inc. The private non-profit advocates for the central business district and has helped to champion the revitalization efforts. As they enjoy the rewards of the push to bring people back to downtown, he says they are also working to make sure the mix of traffic stays safe. A task force has been formed with a goal of making recommendations before the end of the year.
“It’s not a perfect world,” says Crawford, “but we are trying to strategically and proactively put some things in place to continue to make it a safe and fun and vibrant place to be.”
Until then—and frankly, even beyond then—Ania Joy says she will be extra careful. “I don’t take it for granted anymore, after what happened to my brother…I’d rather yield to the car… only crossing when it’s totally clear.”
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