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Chattanooga Secures $4M Grant for Pedestrian Safety in High-risk Zones

Pedestrian safety in focus.

Chattanooga Scores $4M for Pedestrian Safety in High-risk Zones

Chattanooga has secured a significant victory for pedestrian safety, earning $4 million in grant funding dedicated to making significant strides in pedestrian safety and connection in this burgeoning city. The funds will be used to make necessary improvements in areas known for frequent accidents, some of which have seen fatalities.

Transforming Accident Hotspots

In a bid to bolster pedestrian safety, Chattanooga plans to focus these improvements in areas where they’re needed most. Notably, several upgrades will occur at the very spot where a student was tragically struck by a vehicle outside of Chattanooga School for the Arts & Sciences (CSAS).

The funds come from two different grants provided by the U.S. Department of Transportation, one being set to establish two new street connections near Riverfront Parkway and US-27 via the Reconnecting Communities and Neighborhoods Program. The other grant will enhance crosswalks on East 3rd Street, stretching between Siskin and Glenwood Drive.

Improving Connectivity and Safety

The entire project is a collaborative effort with several groups contributing to the cause. According to city representatives, the main goal is to bring together both sides of US-27 and the Riverfront, improving the safety and connection of the community.

“The areas between the Convention Center, MLK, and those roadways under the highway need to be connected and safe for everyone, pedestrians and cyclists alike, as well as motorists. The infrastructure for vehicle use is already there. It’s the growth that’s causing the need for improvements. We need to finish our infrastructure plans for better connectivity and safety,” said city planner, Dan Reuter.

A Tech-Driven Approach to Safety

Key to these improvements is the inclusion of advanced technology, and locally-based UTC is an essential partner in this endeavor. Dr. Mina Sartipi, a leading researcher in Smart Transportation at UTC, explained the concept of cellular V2X — a wireless communication system between vehicles, pedestrians, and cyclists. “If there’s a pedestrian or cyclist down the road, drivers can be more alert via in-vehicle technology,” said Dr. Sartipi.

This innovation has the potential to prevent accidents like the one experienced by Chattanooga mother Amanda Shaw, whose daughter was hit by a car at a crosswalk on 3rd Street. “My daughter was running across 3rd at that crosswalk. The car paused for her, but then decided to roll through, and she was hit,” Shaw shared…

Shaw hopes that this kind of ground-breaking technology will save lives in the future. “If we make pedestrian safety a priority, we can really do great things for Chattanooga. This grant is a step in the right direction,” stated Shaw. Since the start of the year, 20 pedestrians have been hit by vehicles in Chattanooga, with two fatalities reported.

Preventing such incidents from happening is indeed a major step forward, and Chattanooga is clearly committed to the cause. The anticipated safety upgrades will not only ensure that the city’s roads become safer for everyone but also help it continue to thrive and grow.

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