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Tulsa group looks to make streets safer with 'walk audits'

Walk Audit assessing 11th & Garnett in Tulsa, Okla. Dec. 16, 2021. (Kinzer/KTUL){p}{/p}
Walk Audit assessing 11th & Garnett in Tulsa, Okla. Dec. 16, 2021. (Kinzer/KTUL)

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They were easy groups to spot, the ones in the safety vests, headed every which way around 11th and Garnett, making careful observations.

"So, today, we’ve kicked off a series of walk audits," said Mitch Drummond, Chairman of the Tulsa Bicycle and Pedestrian Advisory Committee.

"Walk audits" is the term used to describe the process of seeing how hospitable a stretch of road is.

"It needs to be safer for everyone," said Sean Lewis.

He's often out there training for races with a partner who pushes him, and they've had close calls.

"So, they’ve run into some issues here and there on some areas, almost got run over," said Kyle Miller.

Admiral between Memorial and Sheridan can also be a hair-raising experience.

"Just this year we’ve had, we’ve already had I think over 65 people killed in traffic-related crashes, 25 of those were pedestrians. Those numbers are at least double what we had two years ago," said Drummond.

At the end of September, a woman was hit crossing a street on her motorized scooter.

"And a driver struck her heading westbound on 46th Street North. She was taken to the hospital where she later died," said reporter Lily Cummings.

About a week after that, a man was hit and killed crossing the street after leaving the Tulsa State Fair.

"The only streetlight that I've seen near this intersection is this one that you're looking on right there," said reporter Daniela Ibarra.

The cyclist community is also heavily invested in making streets safer as Katie Sawicki of This Machine Tulsa Bike Share will attest.

"We interviewed people over the last year and 37% of our riders said that they use the bike lanes, so that’s great, but they also said that they would ride more if there was more safety," she said.

So, be on the lookout for the brightly vested groups in 2022, as more walk audits are scheduled for next year.

"Make sure things are walkable and are for all individuals whether wheelchairs, whether bicycles," said Corey Love.


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