North Texas Daily

Letter to the editor: pedestrian safety

Letter to the editor: pedestrian safety

February 02
23:42 2015

One pedestrian death in Denton is too many. The tragic news of the recent death of a TWU student on Bell Avenue just south of TWU serves to highlight the need to do what we can as a city to make our streets safe for all transportation options, especially those who, either by choice or circumstance, get around town without a car.

Safety is the most basic of justifications for making our streets safer, but there are many others.

The trend lines are clear: young people in our country are driving less, owning cars less, and more likely to commute via foot, bike and public transit than previous generations.  This is great news for our health, our air and our local economy. Instead of continuing to invest in a built environment that perpetuates old and unsustainable transportation models, why not make Denton an incubator for alternative transportation innovation?

The dense population surrounding TWU and UNT, their proximity to downtown and the train station, and the neighborhoods that are near and in between are strategic places to encourage residents to get around without a car.  With the economic and cultural center that is our downtown, creating what’s akin to a welcoming “Golden Brick Road” for the 50,000 college students in our community to enjoyably walk or bike from their respective campuses to downtown to eat, drink, commune, and build into our culture is one smart decision for our local economy.

As the representative of District 1 (which includes downtown and TWU), Chair of the city’s Mobility Committee, and the city’s representative on the Regional Transportation Council, I’m committed to working toward solutions.  A great first step toward making Denton more pedestrian-friendly is to make UNT, TWU, Downtown, and the DCTA Train Station seamlessly and safely connected. Toward this end, I have initiated the creation of a Denton Pedestrian Safety Task Force to analyze these issues, recommend solutions to the city and advocate for change.

I need your help. You can contribute to this cause in two ways.

1. We are crowd-sourcing problem areas. You can contribute areas you feel are in need of improvement directly online here:

2. Consider becoming a part of the Denton Pedestrian Safety Task Force. Contact me at kevin.roden@cityofdenton or @KevinRoden on Twitter to get plugged in.

During your time at UNT, consider helping to shape the future of Denton. We need you, your energy, creativity and your fresh set of eyes to help transform our community. 

Kevin Roden is a Denton City Councilman as well as the Chief Implementation Officer for Pascal Learning, a local education technology company

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