Oklahoma City working on ways to make streets safe for pedestrians, cyclists

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OKLAHOMA - There was a bad auto-pedestrian accident Tuesday night involving a bicyclist and driver in northwest Oklahoma City, raising more questions about the safety for riders and pedestrians.

You might notice new paddles out and about, a traffic calming measure letting drivers know to watch out for pedestrians.

There are some on Broadway, between 6th and 10th Street in Automobile Alley.

"I think it's good. It gives a message that's like 'Hey, people are here. People are walking,'" said Jacob Weaver, downtown resident.

"We can use these techniques all across the city to make this a safer place," said John Tankard, City of Oklahoma City Planning Department.

However, it's not just downtown where there's a need - it's the outskirts, too.

City leaders are working on the first ever bicycle and pedestrian master plan called Bike Walk OKC, a plan for future improvements for pedestrian infrastructure and cycling.

"Additionally, we have a transportation safety campaign called 'Watch for me OKC.' That's promoting safe walking, biking and driving in the city," Tankard said.

Ways to grow with the foot traffic and reduce the number of auto pedestrian accidents.

"A person that was riding on a bicycle was struck by another vehicle that was on the roadway, also," said Officer Jeff Dutton, Oklahoma City Police Dept.

It was late Tuesday night, on west Highway 66 near County Line Road, when police said a bicyclist was trying to cross the busy road in the dark.

In addition to drivers, officers also want to warn cyclists to take precautions, as well.

For example, lights on their bikes at night.

"City ordinance requires there to be a blinking red light on the rear and a white light in the front, just as a vehicle might have," Dutton said.

Safety precautions that could be life-saving, but the biggest tip whether you're behind the wheel, on a bicycle or on foot is to always be aware of your surroundings.

"They say to defense drive. I'd say to defensive walk," Dutton said.

Our crews also talked with a developer leading a group called 'Alliance for a better Classen.'

They’ve worked with the city council to propose the city’s first ever protected bike lane, making it safe for people to ride on Classen between 23rd and Reno.

We’re told that could become a reality in 2017.

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