ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. — People who walk and bike along 34th Street in St. Petersburg are scared and begging for change after yet another walker lost their life along the six-lane highway.
The street is so dangerous for pedestrians that it ranks among the 10 worst in the Florida for walkers and bikers.
Wednesday night around 10 p.m., 47-year-old Reginald Pittman walked right out in front of a car. St Pete Police say the driver, Aaron Williams, didn’t have a chance to stop. Pittman was killed on impact near 34th Street South near 35th Avenue.
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It’s scary for Rebecca Castro who crosses 34th Street North nearly every day. Often, she does not use the crosswalk because it’s more than 4 blocks away.
"We’re not going to walk all the way down to the light to cross the street to come all the way back down to go to the dollar store you know that's ridiculous,” she explained.
Castro isn’t alone. On Thursday, we watched as walker after walker another darted across the street mid-block.
“I see people walk across the street all the time,” Megan Bridges said.
In the past two years, there have been 344 crashes involving walkers and bikers. 24 pedestrian deaths. 10 of those were on 34th Street, according to St Pete Police. More than half weren’t in crosswalks.
“It makes you think what could we do to make it any better?,” Bridges questions.
ABC Action News went to St. Pete leaders for answers. We found out there are two possible solutions in the works: Wider sidewalks and reducing one lane of traffic so walkers have space from passing cars. But what about these mid block walkers? City leaders say it’s impractical to put in more crosswalks, because it would drastically slow your commute. They’re hoping all the recent deaths encourage walkers to be more careful.
Forward Pinellas also crunched the numbers and found out there were 4,267 crashes over the past five years along 34th Street N. About half of the pedestrian-involved crashes occurred when it was dark outside.
"I don’t know what can be done, but I really hope they (the city and transportation leaders) do something about it because it's getting ridiculous,” Castro said with a sigh.