The delay in the lighting projects on Hwy 165 South are affecting area walkers

Dear Editor,

I am writing this letter to address my concerns about the lack of lighting on South Bound Highway 165 between Monroe and Richwood. On Sunday, January 20, 2019, another life was lost. In my research, this is the fifth pedestrian who has lost their lives by a motorist on this stretch of highway: January 2019 – Gloria Anderson, October 2018 – Terry Standifer, August 2018 – Walter Johnson, February 2018 – LaQuonta Moran and July 2014 – Unidentified male. Through my research, I have noticed one thing in common with all the reports – a statement which reads:

“Pedestrians and motorists alike are urged to remain vigilant while on area roadways and pay close attention to their surroundings. Crashes involving pedestrians can often be avoided by following some basic safety guidelines. Pedestrians should wear light –colored or reflective clothing and should always avoid walking on the roadway in dark areas. Pedestrians must also assume that approaching motorists cannot see them, especially at night.”

This statement suggests that the burden of safety is solely upon the shoulders of the pedestrians and motorists, which does not take into account several environmental factors. In this instance, it creates a dangerously unsafe area of travel for everyone. I have inquired about this matter on several occasions, and was informed, according to an article written by KTVE 10 news on January 21, 2019, that: “While there are some safety projects in the works, funding for upkeep of the lights is putting a small roadblock on the projects, for now.” As I have frequented this area, the lack of construction and surveying suggests that this project has been postponed indefinitely.

Reva McMillan Ford