Macon-Bibb County has one of the highest pedestrian death rates in the state and in the nation. That's according to the National Traffic Safety Administration. Since 2016, Macon-Bibb County spent more than $1 million making changes to city roads. Yvonne Thomas went to the Pedestrian Safety Summit to hear more about the changes.
“Approximately one-third of the county's residents don't have a driver's license,” said Brad Belo with Macon-Bibb Planning and Zoning. That means nearly 50,000 people in Macon-Bibb may be using county roads daily to walk, not drive. “These are the pedestrian crashes that we've had over the last five years or so,” said Belo.
During the Pedestrian Safety Summit Tuesday morning, Brad Belo with Macon-Bibb Planning and Zoning says the pedestrian death rate is still too high. “These year there have been 18 crashes that were fatal, and of those crashes, four of them were pedestrian fatalities,” said Belo.
With Bibb's pedestrian deaths double the national average for the last two years, Bibb County spent more than $1 million making improvements on the roads. So far, Robert Ryals with Bibb Facilities Management says they've added nearly a dozen new crosswalks in areas like Anthony Road and Adams Street. “These improvements were costly, but they were necessary,” said Ryals. “We've also added speed awareness signs that show motorists what speed they're traveling when they approach the crosswalks.”
City leaders say one of their biggest accomplishments in pedestrian safety was adding sidewalks to Log Cabin Drive. Now, city leaders are working to add more LED lights around the city. “We have upgraded 1,640 Macon-Bibb streetlights with another thousand to come,” said Ryals, to make sure that everyone who shares the road will "Arrive Alive."
Facilities Management also added new speed humps, bumps, and sidewalks on street like Smokie Glover Blvd and Log Cabin Drive. Speed limits are now 35 miles per hour on busy roadways, like Montpelier Avenue, Hazel Street, and Nottingham Drive.