Last March Nevada declared an epidemic of pedestrian deaths. One year later the problem continues.
According to the Las Vegas Metropolitan Police Department, 14 pedestrians have died so far in 2017. That’s up from 11 deaths during the same time span in 2016.
Bill Ortiz lost his son, Jimmy, four years ago when he crossed Flamingo Road.
“We lost him at about five in the morning,” Ortiz said.
Experts say valley roads were not designed for pedestrians.
“We’ve created this environment that’s great for cars, not so great for humans,” said Erin Breen, Director of the Vulnerable Road Users Project.
Boulder Highway is one example of a dangerous area for pedestrians.
“It’s dangerous right here, so dangerous,” said Tia Flowers, pedestrian.
There are few projects in the works such as installing a median on the highway and widening parts of Charleston Boulevard.
“There are few places for people to safely cross the street and few places for people to legally cross the street,” Breen said.
In some cases, pedestrians walking in crosswalks and doing the right thing are still getting hit.
“We’ve had an unbelievable increase in the number of fatalities that are caused by drivers,” Breen said.
Breen wonders if slower speed limits could be the key.
“We know that we have a serious problem,” Breen said.
Ortiz wonders if safety improvements may have saved his child.
“We still will never get over the loss of that incredible shining light,” Ortiz said.
The other big safety improvements are in the works for Lake Mead Boulevard and Blue Diamond Road.