Saving Tucson pedestrians

TUCSON, AZ (Tucson News Now) - So far this year, seven pedestrians have been killed in the Tucson valley. Two died last year.

Tucson metro ranks 25th in the country for the rate of pedestrian deaths. Not the worst and far behind Phoenix which ranks eighth.

But still enough to cause concern.

Enough that last year, the Tucson city manager created a pedestrian task force. It's sputtered and hasn't met in months.

That's likely because in February, the Tucson city council created its first ever pedestrian advisory committee.

The committee will focus entirely on pedestrian issues.

In the past, committees, commissions and task forces were created to handle bicycle/pedestrian issues.

Now, it's become apparent they are two different issues and should be treated differently.

BJ Cordova is one of the members of the committee, appointed by Ward IV council member Shirley Scott.

The board will be made up of 13 members when it's seated. Only five have been chosen so far but it won't hold it's first meeting won't be held until the fall.

"There are a lot of studies which show which improvements can make things safer," says Cordova. We hope to be able to bring those to the city."

The committee will make recommendations on construction needs to suit pedestrians, as well as all the other modes of transportation which are designed to get people out of cars.

"We have to take all forms of transportation into consideration and respond to that," says District 5 county supervisor Richard Elias.

"Tucson's history has been to put people into cars, but we see that's changing, especially in neighborhoods where people need a safe place to walk," Cordova says.

Copyright 2013 Tucson News Now. All rights reserved.