My husband and I bought a home on Broadway Street in January 2015. In May 2015, we welcomed our first son into the world. On October 20, my husband’s family visited and we were sitting in our living room that faces Broadway. Shortly after 9 p.m., emergency vehicle lights lit up the street outside.
That evening, a WSU student, Britney Rayla Nelson, was walking north along Harriet and crossed Broadway on the west side of the intersection when she was struck by a car. From my window with my infant son in my arms, I could see someone lying in the crosswalk on the east side of the intersection; when she was hit, her body flew across the intersection and landed in front of my house. Britney suffered skull fractures and brain and spinal injuries but luckily she survived.
Since Britney’s accident, the lights along Broadway have been replaced, but that’s only a tiny step. The proposed redesign for Broadway from four lanes to three would make this busy road near campus and downtown a safer place for everyone. Pedestrians would be safer, bicyclists would have their own lane, upgrades to the ramps and sidewalks would provide more accessibility, and emergency responders would be able to get through town faster and safer. Perhaps we all would have to drive a bit more slowly, but in a small town like Winona, this is a small price to pay.
The funds have been secured. The City Council has already voted in favor of this project but is voting again on it for some reason. I urge council members and our new mayor to demonstrate that the safety of our citizens is your highest priority and vote in favor of this project.
Today, I have two young sons and I don’t want this to happen to them or anyone else. We have a beautiful, walkable city with lots of pedestrians. Broadway needs to be made safer and there is a great plan on the table to do so. Please vote for our safety.
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