To the Editor: Crozet Pedestrian Safety

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The child's boots damaged in the accident. Photo: Brad Diggans.

On Wednesday, February 17, our four-year-old son was hit by a car on St. George Avenue. He was rushed to the ER at U.Va. Medical Center in an ambulance and met with an awaiting trauma team. We are incredibly thankful for the Western Albemarle Rescue Squad, Crozet VFD, Albemarle County Police Department, and the ER team at U.Va. This story ends well because he lives. We got lucky. However, it was an absolutely terrifying and disheartening week.

The sound of a car hitting your child is not one that dismisses itself from your head with any haste. Red spray-painted arrows and the letters ‘POI’ on the street in front of our house frame the point of impact with the still visible blue and red shreds of our son’s snow boots embedded in the asphalt. The screaming, confusion, blood, panic, shock, and ‘what-if’s’ cycle through your brain in a constant and disorienting loop. Everything about life that, moments earlier, had felt predictable and safe at once feels vulnerable and threatened.

My wife and I had not planned on our son becoming a data point, but here we are. And we’re not the only ones. This incident has driven home the need for our community to make serious and consequential decisions and power timely change to our town infrastructure and how we get around. Empty Master Plan promises of shared-use paths that never get built cannot be what we hang our hopes on for the safe mobility of our children and ourselves.

We need our elected officials, County staff, ACPD, and VDOT to work with us on traffic calming measures and infrastructure to protect a village feel and safely move people around town, be it by car, bus, bicycle, wheelchair or on foot. This cannot wait for a 2040 traffic plan. I am proposing we initiate a community-led effort of local neighborhood “specialists” (you know your neighborhood better than anyone) to inform those with decision-making authority of specific improvements that need to be made in Crozet.

To support and join this effort, email me with your name and neighborhood/street: [email protected]

Brad Diggans
Crozet

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