‘People have already died’: Dozens call for street safety after East Washington traffic deaths | Local News

Antonio G Ginting

Street safety rally

About three dozen people gathered Saturday to advocate for safer street designs in Madison after several traffic-related deaths on East Washington Avenue this year.

Marybeth McGinnis was biking home on the Isthmus last month in the early Saturday morning hours when she came across Madison police taking crime scene photos of a pedestrian who not even an hour earlier had been fatally struck by a hit-and-run driver on East Washington Avenue.

A couple of days later, McGinnis learned the identity of the victim — 30-year-old Sean M. Crisco — whom she said she didn’t know that well but worked with a couple of years back.

“I say that because I’m looking around at all of you and thinking it could have been any of you,” McGinnis, the vice president of Madison Bikes, told a crowd of about three dozen gathered Saturday in Downtown to advocate for safer streets. “It could have been someone in this crowd who I don’t know, someone who I work with and care about.”

See how the annual Mifflin Street Block Party has changed in the decades since it began as a rallying point for the anti-war movement in Madison in the spring of 1969.

Following several deadly traffic-related collisions on East Washington Avenue this year, a coalition of local organizations is calling on Madison to make changes to improve the safety on the major thoroughfare, while also advocating for a rethinking of a car-dependent transportation network.

The group is seeking fewer travel lanes on East Washington Avenue, improved pedestrian crossings and more options that make not owning a car feasible. The push comes as Madison tries to implement its “Vision Zero” initiative — a goal of eliminating all traffic-related deaths and serious injuries by 2030.

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