Number of pedestrian deaths in 2022 rose in Tucson compared to 2021

TUCSON, Ariz. (KGUN) — Seeing pedestrians crossing Grant and Oracle Roads when they’re not supposed to be an everyday occurrence for employees at Tucson Tattoo.

“There’s a lot of people that are hanging out on the side of the road, doing drugs and then they cross in the middle of the road,” their owner Derek Dooley said.

He said there are a lot of homeless people who are crossing when they’re not supposed to.

He said there have even been pedestrian deaths around his business.

“I think we had somebody die recently that was struck by a police car that was coming down here for some other incident,” Dooley said.

Compared to 2021, the Tucson Police Department said they saw an increase in pedestrian deaths across Tucson in 2022. They said there were 49 pedestrian deaths in 2022 and 33 deaths in 2021.

They say a lot of pedestrian deaths are happening on the Grant Corridor and the Oracle Corridor.

They say there were 5 pedestrian deaths in just one month from the end of November to the end of December.

TPD said they’re seeing a lot more deaths that are the pedestrian’s fault and said a lot of the crashes happen on roads with four to six lanes.

They said they’ve already seen one pedestrian death this year on Silver Street and Craycroft Road.

TPD distributed backpacks with reflective tape on them in areas with the most pedestrian deaths. They also received a $15 million grant last year from the governor’s office and they’re using the money to do more patrolling in the areas with the most pedestrian deaths.

The Pima County Sheriff’s department said they investigated 11 pedestrian deaths last year.

Dooley said he believes the City of Tucson needs to do more to curb the amount of people crossing the street when they aren’t supposed to.

“Having more of a police presence here to help people to be more safe. Moving encampments that are right on the side of the road which in my mind is dangerous to those people and the drivers on Grant Road,” he said.

Thomas Guarrera, a security guard working near Grant and Oracle, said he’s seen over two dozen pedestrians cross when they’re not supposed to.

He said not only does the City need to install more street lights, but he said there needs to be more crosswalks.

“Nobody is going to want to walk a certain distance, a block or two blocks to get to the next light,” he said.

However, others like Julie Layman said there aren’t enough crosswalks. She admitted to J-walking across Grant and Oracle.

“I never do that but at that time I did and I ended up getting a 250 dollar ticket,” she said.

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Andrew Christiansen is a reporter for KGUN 9. Before joining the team, Andrew reported in Corpus Christi, Texas for KRIS6 News, Action 10 News and guest reported in Spanish for Telemundo Corpus Christi. Share your story ideas with Andrew by emailing [email protected] or by connecting on Facebook, or Twitter.

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