Officer Ronald Giachetti has been working DWI patrol in Austin for about a year.
Waco (who wouldn’t tell KUT his real name) agrees with Lormond that it’s dangerous living near the city’s roadways. He’s been hit by two cars in Austin. One of those times, he says he was in the wrong. But he says the second time, he was clear to cross the street, and a car hit him near I-35 at Woodward.
It was dark out.
“I don’t think any citizen or anyone would think hanging out by high-speed intersections is safe behavior,” says Art Fortune, APD Highway Enforcement Commander and Vision Zero Task Force member.
And, Fortune says, hanging around those intersections after sundown only compounds the risks already faced by homeless Austinites.
“Darkness is your enemy.”
The final draft of the city’s Vision Zero plan lists dozens of recommendations to improve traffic safety through three main avenues: engineering, enforcement, and education.
One-third of the report focuses on engineering solutions, like improving the way roads are designed and slowing the speed at which traffic moves. For improved enforcement, the Austin Police Department wants to get more traffic and DWI officers out on patrol. The city also recommends a Vision Zero education campaign that will raise awareness and get people to change their own behaviors.