At a news conference held today, District 9 Councilman Joe Krier and City and community leaders announced plans to improve pedestrian safety in the district, more than a month after the death of 9-year-old Tatyana Babineaux. On January 15, Babineaux was the victim of a hit-and-run accident during her walk to school alone for the first time in the 1700 block of Braesview.
According to the latest San Antonio-Bexar County Pedestrian Safety Action Plan, the national average of pedestrian fatalities in all roadway fatalities is 12 percent, in Bexar County pedestrians account for 20 percent of roadway fatalities. To ensure Tatyana’s death wasn’t just another statistic, Councilman Krier has been working with the Babineaux family, San Antonio Police Chief William McManus, North East Independent School District (NEISD) Superintendent Brian Gottardy, key leaders in the City’s Transportation and Capital Improvements (TCI) Department, and leaders from the Summerfield and North Castle Hills neighborhood associations.
When Councilman Krier took office in November 2013, he noted three areas where he thought he could make a difference: streets and drainage issues in District 9, police and fire response and speeding/safety issues in local neighborhoods. The intersection of Braesview and Larkspur was already signalized with pedestrian signals and equipped with marked crosswalks. Planned safety improvements include new overhead flashing beacons along the reduced speed school zone on Braesview, re-marking of 25 crosswalks in the Braesview and Larkspur area around Larkspur Elementary, and the installation of new ADA (Americans with Disabilities Act) compliant ramps at Braesview and Larkspur. Gina Babineaux, Tatyana’s mother, thanked all involved for the joint effort to ensure “no one goes through losing a child in such a manner…ever again.”
According to Councilman Krier, City and community leaders will continue to evaluate other problem areas in District 9 to make streets safer. TCI has agreed to shoulder at least half of the anticipated $90,000 needed to make the necessary changes in the Braesview/Larkspur area. Councilman Krier plans to use his council discretionary fund for the $45,000 that District 9 will cover for the safety improvements that will begin construction this spring. In addition, NEISD Superintendent Gottardy has offered to help in three areas: working to recruit Larkspur parents for a “Walk the Bus” effort, more educational outreach on safe street crossing practices to parents and students, and exploring obtaining an additional crossing guard in the area.