Local group drafting new policy to improve safety on roads - Tucson News Now

Local group drafting new policy to improve safety on roads

TUCSON, AZ (Tucson News Now) -

The Living Streets Alliance is drafting a new "complete streets policy" with hopes of making the streets safer for everyone. 

So far this year, there have been eight pedestrian deaths in the City of Tucson, compared to just two this time last year. 

Some pedestrians said they're not surprised to hear this.

"I'm always looking around to make sure because people drive like maniacs around here. They're always running lights and taking turns when they're not supposed to," said Chris Wegener, a pedestrian. 

Wegener, as well as other pedestrians said things like more lights, reduced speed limits, crosswalks and signals would help make it safer for those walking. 

The policy pushes for roads and transportation systems that make the streets safe for drivers, pedestrians and cyclists. 

"If our streets respond to different scenarios better, if we can for example reduce speeds, we can provide sidewalks, safe crossings for people or safe lanes for riding a bicycle. If we can increase the efficiency of our transit systems," said Evren Sonmez, project manager with LSA. 

The complete streets policy would become a framework for all future road projects, prioritizing how to make the roads safer for everyone using them. 

Sonmez said LSA is currently in the very early stages of drafting this policy. She hopes to work with the City and have Mayor and Council eventually vote and pass this policy. 

If this policy is adopted, there would be a way to keep track of the progress as well. 

"Every year there is a reporting procedure that is involved. The data is complied in terms of how many more miles of bike lanes have been added? How many streets have gotten safer crossings, etc," Sonmez said. 

Sonmez said more than 1,100 similar policies have been adopted all across the country. 

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