Richmond group pushes for change as pedestrian death rate climbs

RICHMOND, Va. -- Richmond Families for Safe Streets met Monday night to support those impacted by life-altering traffic crashes and their loves ones as part of the international World Day of Remembrance for Road Traffic Victims.

Brantley Tyndall, with Bike-Walk RVA, advocates for safer streets, more bikes lanes, and pedestrian-friendly paths.

"There's no appropriate number of traffic fatalities other than zero," Tyndall said. "It’s up to all of us to save that next life."

Through the work of Tyndall, and others, new protective bike lanes now line portions of Franklin Street and Williamsburg Avenue.

For Tyndall, an avid cyclist, the work to create safer streets is personal.

Brantley Tyndall

Brantley Tyndall

Tyndall's mother Lisa Sheffield was injured nearly 20 years ago in a drunk-driver caused chain-reaction crash.

She now uses a wheelchair to get around.

While drunk driving remains an important issue, Sheffield said drivers in 2019 face new issues.

"Now it's people just paying attention," she said. "Just being responsible for being in a car."

Lisa Sheffield

Pedestrian deaths - nationwide - have increased 53-percent over the last 10 years, according to Bike Walk RVA.

"In Virginia that number [of pedestrian fatalities] has gone up 63 percent," Tyndall said. "In the Richmond Region, it's up 250%."

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