ALBANY, N.Y. (NEWS10) — Candles and flowers mark the spot around where 31-year old Tanisha Brathwaite was struck and killed Wednesday in Albany.
In the aftermath of Brathwaite’s death is a call to action to improve Albany’s crosswalks and pedestrian safety as a whole. “Unfortunately, there are many fatal pedestrian accidents in this city and it absolutely an equity issue and a problem that the city needs to address,” says Jackie Gonzales, vice president of Walkable Albany.
Gonzales says for far too long, cities like Albany took their eyes off pedestrian safety when designing streets. “Albany, like many other cities, has spent the last 70 years prioritizing the convenience and speed of those in cars at the expense of those walking. So really we need systemic changes in how our roads are made. One of the best things you can do quickly is better crosswalks and better signage at crosswalks.”
Some crosswalks throughout the city are barely noticeable, including crosswalks in parts of Clinton Avenue just blocks away from where Brathwaite was killed. In a study conducted by Insurify earlier this year, Albany ranked number 12 worst in the nation for for pedestrian safety which Albany Common Councilmember Deborah Zamer would like to see changed. “Lowering the speed limit is one step,” Zamer, who has proposed lowering city speed limits from 30 mph to 25 mph says, “I think it is the first step but there are many other steps that need to occur to improve pedestrian safety such as improved crosswalks, speed humps which the city of Albany is piloting.”
As of Friday afternoon, Albany Police say they are still investigating Wednesday’s fatal hit and run.