ROANOKE, Va. – The number of crashes between cars and pedestrians doubled last year in Roanoke and city leaders want to underscore their new safety tagline for this year: “There’s No Need to Speed.”
Life moves at a different speed when you’re walking rather than driving. It’s a lesson a few dozen learned Tuesday night as city transportation manager Dwayne D’Aredenne kicked off this year’s pedestrian safety campaign.
“We hope to get some community input we hope to get folks engaged and we hope to get them to sign the pledge no need to speed,” D’Ardenne said.
It’s a tagline you’ll see popping up in signs all across the city. 9th Street in Southeast is one of ten priority corridors and where they walked alongside the neighborhood association to get people looking.
“Being able to come out and inspire the community to get involved and do more and for public safety that is key,” Southeast Action Forum member Mashawn Walker said.
Last year the city launched the “Every Corner is a Crosswalk” campaign but car and pedestrian crashes doubled from three to seven. City neighborhood services coordinator Joshua Johnson said this year is about doubling down on the city’s emphasis on walkability.
“We talk about these complete streets being safe for vehicles, pedestrians, bicycles, scooters, motorcycles, really just a place where all people can safely traverse our city,” Johnson said.
Roanokers will soon see a new PSA on their screens and advertisements with the reminder. The night ended with a sweet treat for all the hard work, but there’s much more to do.
“[Our plan is] to educate them that there really is no need to speed, whatever they can do can wait, and we just need to work on the design and engineering so those are the two things we’re focused on,” D’Ardenne said.
The city said it will take everyone’s participation to make the program a success. You can sign up to be a community ambassador, share your story and take the pledge at the city’s website.