Richmond councilwoman plans to address Pulse safety concerns in GRTC meeting


RICHMOND, Va. (WRIC) — A Richmond City Councilwoman is calling on Greater Richmond Transit to make the bus system safer. This comes a week after a bus hit and killed a 32-year-old woman while she was crossing West Broad Street.

On Tuesday, Councilwoman Kim Gray told 8News that it’s time for change.

The GRTC Pulse lane was created to give bus riders a fast, efficient straight shot from Willow Lawn to Rocketts Landing. Councilwoman Gray says a meeting was already scheduled with GRTC officials to address safety concerns before last week’s accident even happened.

While police said the bus that struck and killed Alice Woodson had the right-of-way, Gray said the Pulse line is confusing drivers and pedestrians along the busy street.

“I’ve been hearing concerns sporadically from people about how they end up in the pulse lane unknowingly, that the signage is really foreign to them,” the councilwoman told 8News.

Gray says white horizontal and vertical symbols telling buses when to stop and go should be color coded so it’s clearer for everyday drivers.

“It’s really confusing to pedestrians and drivers because the assumption is that if the drivers have the red light, the pulse has the red light as well and that’s not always the case,” she said.

She also said drivers and cyclists should pay close attention to where the Pulse lane is at all times.

“We just need to make it as safe as we can and understand as much as we can about it,” Gray told 8News.

Councilwoman Gray added that she will address how fast buses have been traveling during her upcoming meeting with GRTC officials on Oct. 24. GRTC’s new CEO told 8News she looks forward to hearing from the councilwoman and GRTC is always looking for opportunities to make the system safer.

We at GRTC always look for opportunities to improve daily safety performance. We also remain receptive to advancing safety improvements in partnership with our Pulse stakeholders. I look forward to hearing Councilwoman Gray’s insight and sharing GRTC’s continued commitment to safety first. The Pulse was designed to reduce conflicts on the road between various mobility modes, and the general safety along the route has improved significantly since we opened, but there is still more our community as a whole can do to push forward with safer streets for all. GRTC is proud to partner with the City of Richmond on Vision Zero and Henrico County on Watch Your Step. These important efforts will continue to elevate safety for all users of our roadways.”

Julie Timm, GRTC CEO


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