Roanoke city leaders create survey to improve pedestrian safety

Survey part of a city-wide traffic safety campaign

ROANOKE, Va. – Crossing the street is something we all do, but something many people may not give much thought to.

An online survey created by the city of Roanoke is meant to get people thinking.

It asks questions like, ‘How often do you use push button signals when crossing an intersection?' and ‘How often you cross a street at a corner?'

“I feel safe,” said Roanoke resident Ian Price. Price has lived in downtown Roanoke for five years.

While he feels safe as a pedestrian, he also knows how dangerous the city’s streets can be.

“This has happened to me and my girlfriend when we’ve been out running going through an intersection,” Price said when asked if he’s ever seen anyone almost get hit. “For me, personally, it was a guy who was on his phone not paying attention. He started to almost go to stop sign almost go at a stop sign and I had to put my hand on the hood to stop him. The same thing happened to her not far away.”

City leaders said the survey was created because close calls like that have become common in the city.

In May, three people were hit by cars. One person died. Earlier this month, a person was also hit and killed.

The survey does not say if any of these incidents were a factor in creating the survey.

”I think people really do try to pay attention. I know I’m always trying to pay attention because I’m usually a pedestrian, but I think people are trying. I’ve never felt like someone was overtly trying to hit me,” said Price.

Others who spoke with 10 News Friday, like Todd Wilkerson, said they also feel safe as a pedestrian but are also mindful of the dangers.

“I normally cross at intersections,” Wilkerson said. “Yes, (I use the push button signals at crosswalks) and I’ve noticed some of them don’t work.”

Crossing at intersections and using push button signals is still no guarantee of safety.

Some said they see people nearly get hit on an almost daily basis.