The recent pedestrian death of a Florida State student who was struck and killed while crossing West Tennessee Street in broad daylight has caused an uproar in the community.
West Tennessee Street is a busy east-west corridor, and pedestrians are at a high risk of being in danger.
Tallahassee resident Francis Arnold said, “I live in one of the busiest areas in Tallahassee, right in the College Town area. It makes me nervous every time I see a pedestrian cross the road because most cars are not cautious or simply think they have the right-of-way.”
The demand for a pedestrian bridge or tunnel near where the fatal accident occurred increased after cars hit two FSU students, one resulting in a death.
Nineteen-year-old Natalie Nickchen was hit by a car and killed in a pedestrian crosswalk last month. Witnesses say the driver did not stop at the traffic light. This incident is one of many that have prompted students in Tallahassee to be more cautious while crossing the road.
The incident took place near the campus of FSU where students say drivers usually rush in the area. Students are often crossing streets throughout the day and night trying to reach their destination.
“Students are always crossing roads 24/7. I honestly cannot imagine being in Natalie’s shoes when this happened because we see cars speeding through our campus and near our campus every single day,” said FSU student Alanna Dickey.
In response to Nickchen’s death, FSU student Noelle Enright is looking to petition to get a pedestrian bridge or tunnel built in this specific area to keep students safe.
The petition was posted online and currently has more than 15,000 signatures. Individuals who are interested in signing the petition can visit change.org where they can sign their name and even donate toward the infrastructure.
“Many universities in our state have pedestrian bridges, and it’s shocking there isn’t one over this dangerous road. There needs to be a safe option for pedestrians,” Enright said.
Enright is not alone in hopes of getting a pedestrian bridge built near her campus. Members of FSU’s Student Government Association are partnering with her to present the petition to FSU President, John Thrasher.
If Thrasher approves, the idea of the bridge or tunnel will be sent to Mayor Dailey and the Florida Department of Transportation.