NASHVILLE, Tenn. (WKRN) — Many people and groups have documented how Dickerson Pike is one of the most dangerous corridors in Nashville.
It’s something Karla Beristain Leon can agree with.
“When I’m driving to different areas for work I see a lot of people just crossing very dangerously to be honest,” said Beristain Leon.
However, something new is now in place to help make things safer.
In early March, Stansell Electric installed the city’s first High Intensity Activated Crosswalk, or HAWK System, at the intersection of Dickerson Pike and Sunset Drive.
“The nice thing about this system is it actually puts red lights up so people are required to stop by law,” said CEO Dave Stansell.
Once activated, traffic in both directions is required to stop so pedestrians will be able to safely cross the street.
The Skyliner mixed-income apartments across the street worked with Stansell Electric, Nashville Department of Transportation (NDOT), Nashville Electric Service (NES), and Urban Housing Solutions to incorporate this system into their building plans.
“They were conditioned to improve the crossing across Dickerson Pike because we’ve seen a lot of pedestrian fatal crashes,” said John Boghozian.
Boghozian is the Vision Zero manager for NDOT, who said with this new crosswalk in place, they will be able to monitor if it will cut down on pedestrian accidents in this area.
“We’re going to be evaluating user experience, [and] how vehicles react to it,” he said.
Stansall said because Dickerson Pike is a high pedestrian area with lots of development, it makes for a great candidate to have this particular crosswalk.
“In situations where you have a large housing development, and across the street you have a bus stop, I think that’s pretty important,” he said.
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Upgrading and adding new infrastructure is just a part of the overall Vision Zero plan, and it’s something Boghozian believes will help them make Nashville a safer city for pedestrians.
“These are the things we know improve pedestrian safety, and it’s just the beginning of what we’re trying to do here,” he said.
NDOT is working with more affordable housing developers to help identify opportunities where they can work to improve infrastructure for their residents.
Boghozian said there are more of these crosswalks tied to other developments, and they are hoping to install more of these around pikes and major roadways in Nashville.