Pedestrian safety in the spotlight

Posted at: 02/25/2013 6:32 PM
By: Lily Jamali

ALBANY - With two pedestrians hit along Albany's Central Avenue in two recent incidents, neighbors are calling on the city for change.

One of those incidents killed a young woman.

Albany police say they are working to make that stretch of road, safer.

The best friend and the sister of 28-year old Kathryn Parker lit candles and left tokens of remembrance - four days after a driver hit and killed her at Central and King Avenues.

Wearing a sweatshirt in Parker's honor, friend Tameeka Cowley had a plea for the city:

"Do something. Do anything to make it easier for everybody else so that it doesn't happen again," Cowley said.

With a second pedestrian hit Friday - two blocks away - during a vigil for Parker, the city says that's a message they're taking seriously.

"I really want to look at a new way to deal with vehicle traffic," said Albany Police Chief Steven Krokoff.

Albany Police say they're just starting their investigation into Parker's death.

The driver hasn't been charged at this point.

It's not yet clear if Parker crossed during her turn.

Pedestrians are not supposed to step out into traffic where there is a signaled intersection.

"If you do cross, it's still the driver's responsibility to use due care to avoid you. The term jaywalking doesn't exist in New York traffic law," said Chief Krokoff.

He says as Albany becomes an increasingly walkable city, the need for change is clear.

And with new businesses sprouting up along Central Avenue, those who've watched the area grow agree.

"Almost on a daily basis, you hear the tires screeching, you hear the horns non-stop. You look outside and you see people running red lights. You see pedestrians crossing when they shouldn't be crossing," said Barbara Jensky-Coluccio, owner of Nino's Deli.