November 2021 – Dozens of community members gathered on Sunday, Nov. 21 for the World Day of Remembrance for Road Traffic Victims to honor individuals who died in pedestrian and bicycle crashes this year. Participants held signs with the names of their loved ones as they silently walked along Bruce B. Downs Blvd. Called the Walk of Mourning, the event involved the reading off of the names of more than 200 victims.
Hillsborough TPO Executive Planner Gena Torres helped organize the walk to raise awareness about deadly safety issues plaguing Tampa Bay pedestrians and bicycle riders. Ms. Torres manages the TPO’s Vision Zero program, an international effort to eliminate all traffic fatalities and severe injuries. For over a decade, Ms. Torres has advocated for safer road designs, an effort that produced traffic calming measures along several roads including Nebraska Ave. But more work still needs to be done.
“On one hand, it will take a meaningful investment to design roads that make speeding difficult with ample locations for safe crossings,” Ms. Torres said. “On the other hand, we can alter driving behavior now, and walks like the one on the Mourning of Remembrance are a big step in raising awareness that the lives taken are our very own neighbors, family members, and friends.”
Governments and nonprofit organizations worldwide observe the World Day of Remembrance, and the TPO commemorates the event as part of its Vision Zero program. To read more about Vision Zero, please visit www.planhillsborough.org/vision-zero.