Mom of girl hit by car on North Side pleads for traffic changes as city unveils new safety plan

PITTSBURGH — In Downtown Pittsburgh, the intersections are lined with crosswalks and pedestrian signals, but not every neighborhood has this. One mom said her daughter was hit because their street doesn’t have those and on Monday, she made that clear to city officials as they unveiled their new “Vision Zero Plan.”

The plan details the city’s commitment to ensure no car crashes in the city for the next year. Officials plan to accomplish this goal by beginning new traffic calming projects in high-injury corridors around the city.

Kara Walker’s 11-year-old daughter was walking with a friend last December when they were hit by a driver, at the intersection of Brighton Road and Jacksonia Street in the city’s Northside neighborhood. Nearly three months later, Walker said nothing had changed at this dangerous intersection.

“The traffic signal that you are referencing has not been touched for 50 years,” said a spokesperson for the Department of Mobility and Infrastructure.

City officials told her the traffic signal at the intersection where her daughter was hit had not been updated in five decades.

Walker walked us through some of her concerns.

“She is scared she is scared of loud cars; she is scared of cars moving too fast she is scared. And now she doesn’t even walk this way [to school anymore],” Walker said.

According to the city, just 10% of city streets are responsible for all crashes. Last year were 21 people killed, seven were pedestrians.

“Seeing how it wasn’t fixed it’s like we can’t go back to our daily routine there is nobody here that I feel like will ensure that the kids get to school safely,” Walker explained.

Brighton Road was listed on the city’s website as one of the traffic-calming projects slated for this year with an approximate start date of April 2024. The city did not provide details of the project but ensured that the traffic signal would be replaced. Walker shared she’d like to see a pedestrian signal, speed-calming measures, and a crossing guard during school hours.

“We are trying to eliminate the list that we have as well as get caught up,” said Mayor Ed Gainey.

Mom Kara told us she just wants to know how projects are prioritized.

“Before we say we aren’t going to have any car accidents, we have to implement things and put them in place so we can guarantee that,” Walker said.

The driver was not charged in the crash. To learn more about the City’s Vision Zero Plan, click here.

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