Organization pushes for crosswalk after 2nd pedestrian crash at Springfield intersection in last few weeks

Published: Oct. 15, 2021 at 12:21 PM CDT|Updated: Oct. 15, 2021 at 12:24 PM CDT
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SPRINGFIELD, Mo. (KY3) - Police are investigating a hit and run crash injuring a pedestrian in an area where similar crashes have happened.

The crash Thursday happened in the 3800 block of West Chestnut Expressway. The victim did not suffer any serious injuries. The crash follows another in the area involving a pedestrian.

Nate Schlueter, chief visionary for the Gathering Tree, said walkers almost get hit there all the time and he has witnessed it.

Schlueter said a crosswalk could solve these issues.

“It would slow down traffic. It would save lives,” said Schlueter. “It would be a benefit to the community in general, not just our property. There’s a library kiosk over here, there are great stores across the street, people are trying to access services.”

Schlueter also said people are angry at others getting hurt on the expressway.

“Yeah, we’re angry,” said Schlueter. “We’re disappointed. We think that this should be a safer area for people to be able to access public transportation, and access services and stores and different things.”

Schlueter organized a volunteer effort Thursday, making a makeshift crosswalk in the middle of the street. He said action was needed.

“We decided to take action,” said Schlueter. “We went and bought orange vests, orange cones, roadside flares, flashing lights, and created a crosswalk and a crosswalk stop sign and brought people across.”

With businesses, homes, a bus stop, a park, kids in the area and, people with disabilities crossing the road, residents like Leeann Taite, said, a crosswalk is needed.

“It would give them time to get across the street and everything,” said Taite. “Versus now they have to weave in and out of the cars and everything, to try and get across to the bus stops.”

Schlueter said volunteers will be making a crosswalk again Friday night, despite city ordinances saying they can’t.

“We’ll have four orange cones in the median, which they’re supposed to walk through, and then somebody here will be with a stop sign,” said Schlueter. “So basically we’re trying to tell cars something’s happening here.”

Schlueter said he is in talks with MoDOT to have a crosswalk on the 3800 block on West Chestnut Expressway, but progress is slow.

“But I think that those solutions take time and I don’t think that we have time,” said Schlueter. “It forces us to arm people with reflective vests to create a temporary crosswalk. Allow people to access safely, the northside of West Chestnut Expressway.”

Police said the person hit in the latest hit and run will be okay and there are no suspects at this time.

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