Person hit by car and downtown business owner react to city’s safety efforts

Published: Jun. 2, 2021 at 10:07 PM CDT|Updated: Jun. 3, 2021 at 7:01 AM CDT
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JONESBORO, Ark. (KAIT) - The city of Jonesboro announced that they are working on slowing down traffic and making crosswalks more viewable for cars downtown.

“It is rare, but we have had pedestrians struck by vehicles, and the mayor deems that as unacceptable,” said Tony Thomas, chief operations officer.

They are teaming up with the Downtown Jonesboro Alliance to form a plan.

“After being hit by a vehicle, it’s even more heightened now,” said Bethany Davis.

Davis was hit by a car while walking two months ago. She says the experience made her extra cautious. Though the accident happened on Nettleton, she says the downtown area is just as dangerous.

“We’ve lived here a year downtown, and it’s been a little scary sometimes because we’ll be crossing the street, and even though there is a crosswalk, people are speeding, and people don’t stop even with the signs,” said Davis.

Since the accident, Davis has been going through rehab but says she’s not back to her usual self yet.

“It’s been two months, and I’m still walking slowly sometimes. I’m not back to my normal function of running,” said Davis.

She has slowly been able to start exercising and teach her yoga class again but is afraid it might all happen again.

“I’m a little slower, which is also even scarier because I may not be able to move if a car doesn’t see me, so I’m just a little more cautious than I was previously,” said Davis.

Davis says she’s happy the city is making efforts to reduce speed, just like Gearhead Outfitters owner Ted Herget. His store spans both sides of Main Street, meaning his customers and employees must cross multiple times a day.

“It’s a necessity. The old ad that “speed kills” is right. It becomes a drag race in the afternoon. The side-by-side traffic doesn’t really stop. It’s a hurry up and wait game,” said Herget.

The city has not given any specifics on what changes will be made but say they will make announcements in the next few weeks.

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