published Thursday, May 24th, 2012

$25,000 grant to promote safety in the Chattanooga area

Leaders with Children's Hospital at Erlanger's Safe and Sound Program, Safe Kids Greater Chattanooga and community leaders recently accepted a $25,000 grant from Federal Express to create five new citywide pedestrian safety initiatives, according to a news release.

The overall goal is to boost child pedestrian safety. The grant will allow the city to make environmental changes to improve pedestrian safety in several neighborhoods, the news release stated.

Some of the recommendations include:

• A solar-powered sign for reading vehicle speeds on Third Street near Orchard Knob Elementary School to alert drivers to decrease speeds near the school.

• Pedestrian signals and countdown timers added to the crosswalk at the intersection of Wilcox Boulevard and Dodson Avenue to ensure pedestrians a safer crossing to Avondale Recreation Center and a convenience store.

• Street stencils added on Orchard Knob Avenue in front of Carver Recreation Center and on Dodson Avenue in front of East Chattanooga Recreation Center to notify drivers of these pedestrian-crossing areas.

• Battle Academy to have a sidewalk added to connect better street crosswalks that are already in place.

• Street stencils added to Market Street and West 16th Street to inform drivers of the school zone.

"We are fortunate to receive this grant for the second year in a row," said Clay Carlock with Children's Hospital Safe and Sound Program in the news release. "We are seeing significant improvements and a decrease in the number of accidents with the projects we implemented in other high-risk areas last year."

In 2009, there were 59 pedestrian accidents among all ages in Chattanooga, 10 of which were fatal, according to the release.

In 2010, Children's Hospital at Erlanger saw 31 patients for pedestrian injuries, nine of which were admitted to Children's Hospital with an average stay of 6.6 days and a hospital bill averaging $57,000, the release stated.

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