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City officials aim for pedestrian safety

Posted at 5:00 PM, Mar 22, 2022
and last updated 2022-03-23 09:06:55-04

CORPUS CHRISTI, Texas — Vision Zero, the city's newest initiative to make roads safer for pedestrians and cyclists, was launched in January 2020.

The main goal for Vision Zero is to eliminate traffic fatalities and serious injuries by the year 2040.

Vision Zero first started in 1990 in Sweden, but has quickly gained momentum in the United States.

"Corpus Christi is a leader in becoming the fourth city in the State to pursue these efforts along with San Antonio, Austin, and Laredo," said city officials.

There have been numerous pedestrian accidents in the city of Corpus Christi in the past decade.

According to a study, 41% of pedestrian accidents happen in crosswalks, and most pedestrian deaths occur in dark, urban areas.

Texas law states, "the operator of a vehicle shall stop and yield the right-of-way to a pedestrian crossing a roadway in a crosswalk if: (1) no traffic control signal is in place or in operation; and (2) the pedestrian is: (A) on the half of the roadway in which the vehicle is traveling; or (B) approaching so closely from the opposite half of the roadway as to be in danger."

Despite pedestrians having the right of way, it is often very difficult for motorists to stop in the middle of traffic, especially if they are driving above the speed limit.

Experts say pedestrians should always cross the street at a designated crosswalk or intersection whenever possible.

"Increase your visibility at night by carrying a flashlight when walking and wearing reflective clothing, such as reflective vests," said officials in a statement.

Officials also recommend that pedestrians walk on the shoulder and face traffic if a sidewalk is unavailable.

"The City is committed to decreasing crash statistics by endorsing Vision Zero and increasing safe, healthy, equitable mobility for cities, commuters, and tourists who live, work and play here," said city officials.

The city of Corpus Christi has also installed two Pedestrian Hybrid Beacons at some of the busiest intersections in the area.

One is located at North Staples Street between Lipan St., and Leopard St. City officials say the second one is located at the intersection of Ocean Drive and Del Mar Boulevard.

"The Pedestrian Hybrid Beacon, or PHB, is an overhead signal-beacon designed to help pedestrians safely cross a busy street. A PHB signal works like any other push-button activated pedestrian; a red signal will appear, allowing pedestrians to cross safely with a 'walk' signal," said city officials.

City leaders and local law enforcement have collaborated on strategies to accomplish the 20-year plan for Vision Zero.

For more information, visit the city of Corpus Christi's websiteand search "Vision Zero."