Family of Women Killed in Hit and Run Push for Crosswalks on Cherry Street

The family of a woman hit and killed on Cherry Street is asking the city to make Tulsa's streets safer for walkers and bikers. Now City Councilor Blake Ewing is proposing a plan to install LED crosswalks.

A makeshift memorial on Cherry Street is a reminder of the December hit and run accident that killed Jerome Carlson's mom, JoAnn.

"I went down to look at the memorial that the family had set up, and it's almost pitch black there," said Carlson. "Markings on the crosswalk look like they were done 20 years ago."

Jerome's family met with Mayor Bartlett and Councilor Blake Ewing and asked them to make pedestrian safety a priority.

Mark Brown is the city traffic operations manager. He says they are already steps to keep pedestrians safe: 18 LED, overhead lights will go up on Cherry Street soon, angled parking spots were added 2 years ago, and there is a 25 mile per hour speed zone.

"We can engineer it all we want," said Brown. "It's the combination of educating folks driving through and getting enforcement on board to enforce what we have."

City Councilor Blake Ewing hopes to add another safety feature -- raised, LED lighted crosswalks. He wants to install one on Cherry Street and another on Lewis Avenue, near the Circle Cinema.

"We're trying to satisfy every group that has an interest," said Brown. "Restaurants want more people and more parking. We want to make it safe for pedestrians."

Councilor Ewing will ask the mayor to make a budget amendment to move about $50,000 from another budget item to pay for the two crosswalks.

The driver of the hit and run still has not been found. Witnesses say the car was a silver or white vehicle with "fancy" tires. Police say the windshield would have been broken in the accident.