City council considers crosswalk ordinance

City council considers crosswalk ordinance

SPOKANE, Wash. - It was a tragic event that has helped spark a proposed solution to cross walk safety in Spokane.

"I saw a car hit two babies and a mom and I saw the baby and her mom literally fly in the air," said Michelle Lee, witness.  

Five year old Elayna Burrows-Gust died last fall after being struck by a car along Monroe Street. She, along with her older brother, followed their mom into the street. The family was not using a crosswalk.

Council Member Candace Mumm said Elayna's story helped inspire the new proposed crosswalk ordinance.

"It seems walkability is the new thing, everyone wants to be able to have more places to walk and make it safer, and make it really clear to drivers that pedestrians have the right of way at intersections," said Council Member Mumm.

The proposed plans include updating crosswalks at business center, arterioles next to schools, parks and other high pedestrian traffic areas.

"Such as Monroe, and of course downtown where it's very busy and the new East Sprague target area development will also qualify," said Council Member Mumm.

Brittany Howard told KXLY after last falls accident, busy areas like Monroe St. are every pedestrians fear. Though she uses a crosswalk, "I literally have to put the kids behind me, get out in front of the cars, and look. My kids even know if I yell run, then they are to run across the street as fast as they can and not look back."

The proposal will add a variety of painted crosswalks as well as mid-block crosswalks.

"So you wouldn't have to just be at a lighted intersection you could do it in the middle of the block, like the one we're standing in front of here which is sort of a pilot for that," said Council Member Mumm.

Council Member Mumm said the plan will only require a small amount of funding, for a big increase in safety.

"We've had over 20 people killed in the last 10 years in pedestrian accidents and more than a thousand injured," said Council Member Mumm.  

If the ordinance is passed the new crosswalks would be installed as the city either builds new streets, or resurfaces them.

There will be a public hearing at City Hall regarding the crosswalk proposal Monday, September 8.