Awareness blitz aims to keep pedestrians safe at busy intersections

KTVA: Awareness blitz aims to keep pedestrians safe at busy intersections

by Scott Gross – January 25, 2018

 

Through a Mayor’s Community Grant, the Alaska Injury Prevention Center partnered with local artists Kevin Harden and Ted Kincaid to create community art that promotes pedestrian safety.

Art printed on feather flags draws attention to the presence of pedestrians and will be posted at municipally owned intersections with known pedestrian safety challenges. The effort is to bring awareness to pedestrian safety.

The Alaska Injury Prevention Center and Vision Zero Anchorage will stage an awareness blitz at one of Anchorage’s most dangerous intersections for pedestrians. This event will feature the artists’ work, traffic safety mascots Reflector-saurus, Buckle Bear, the Crash Test Dummies and support from youth volunteers.

“Anywhere you have a lot of vehicles coming together with pedestrians, bicyclists and transit uses all in the same area,” Vision Zero Project Manager Katie Dougherty said. “Is the place where you can have fatalities or serious injuries. Those are places where we have the potential to install something that is temporary, something that can be beautiful, attractive, fun to look at. It can aware drivers the chance to slow down and prevent anything that could be fatal or traumatizing to a cyclist or pedestrian.”

Crashes involving pedestrians accounted for a reported 3 percent of all motor vehicle crashes within the Municipality in 2015, with over 100 pedestrians hit. While pedestrian crashes make up a low percentage of the total, pedestrians are more vulnerable to serious and fatal injuries.

Of the 25 motor vehicle crash fatalities on Anchorage’s roadways in 2015, 32 percent were pedestrians. The City’s traffic safety program, Vision Zero Anchorage, aims to identify high-risk intersections and populations in order to develop both education and engineering strategies to eliminate traffic-related injuries and fatalities.

The crew of safety advocates set up their first awareness station at one of the most dangerous intersections in Anchorage — New Seward Highway and Northern Lights Boulevard. More intersections are also part of the pedestrian awareness blitz.

“We’re looking at some intersections in east Anchorage,” Dougherty said. “Also in the Mountain View area as well as in Spenard. We’re doing this with some great volunteers and some awesome students from East High School student government.”

The event features artists’ work, traffic safety mascots Reflector-saurus, Buckle Bear, the Crash Test Dummies and support from youth volunteers.

Copyright 2018 KTVA. All rights reserved.

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