BALTIMORE (WJZ) — Pedestrian deaths are hitting record numbers in Maryland, and city officials say are making changes to fix that.
In 2018, 133 pedestrians and six bicyclists were killed– with half of those deaths in the Baltimore region.
The Maryland Department of Transportation and the Baltimore Metropolitan Council are working to change that- launching “Look Alive”- a new safety campaign to help raise awareness on the roads.
“We all know these are not just numbers. These are mothers, brothers, sisters and friends- empty seats at the table and people whose lives are changed forever,” said Chrissy Nizer, MDOT administrator.
One of the latest incidents on May 5 killed a 55-year-old man hit on Richie Highway in Glen Burnie. Since 2018, 511 people died in crashes in Maryland.
Despite a decrease in traffic fatalities from the previous year, state transportation officials said now is the time for change- starting in Towson.
“We are currently underway with a project to resurface this road from Olympic Place North. With that, we’ll be upgrading signing, signals, pavement markings and sidewalk ramps,” said Cedric Ward, MDOT director.
A project on Roland Avenue is already underway. Fresh paint down on a bike path, designed to try to ensure a safer Baltimore area.
Baltimore County is investing as well.
“We recently passed a bipartisan budget that includes for the first time ever in Baltimore County’s history dedicated capital funds for both bike lanes and pedestrian improvements, so that places like here in Towson are more safer, more inviting and work better with traffic flows,” said Baltimore County Executive Johnny Olszewski Jr.
An investment of $1 million has been made to ensure zero pedestrian and bicyclist deaths in Maryland. Maryland officials said they have a five-year plan to cut the number of traffic fatalities and serious injuries in half by the year 2030.