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City Increasing Pedestrian Safety In Area Where Girl Was Killed By Speeding Driver

City of San Antonio

One of District 9 City Councilman Joe Krier's goals has been safer streets and he recently announced several initiatives to increase driver and pedestrian awareness following the death of a nine-year-old girl.

Tatyana Babineaux was struck on Jan. 15 walking by herself on the way to school when a driver hit her, then fled the scene, in the 1700 block of Braesview.

"I've always known people were very busy and in a rush to get places. You just need to slow down," said Tatyana's mother, Gina. "It's not worth it. It's not worth hurting you or someone else. It's just not worth it."

Gina Babineaux said she's been aware of the problem, but after the tragic accident went to city leaders to try to get something done about drivers who go too fast.

Krier responded by working with the city, San Antonio Police and Public Works to re-paint school zones, add better overhead lighting and more crossing guards. Krier is also securing a mobile radar speed limit sign that can be loaned to neighborhoods where speeders are a problem.

"When people see that flashing radar sign the first they think is there must be a policeman around here somewhere, so it has a real positive impact on people's habits," Krier said. "And then you don't leave it there permanently, because if you left it there permanently, people would ignore it."

It'll cost about $90,000 to make necessary changes along Braesview and Larkspur. Half of that will be paid for with money from the city's Transportation and Capital Improvements department.

Police Chief William McManus said he isn't worried that safety improvements will get done in other areas where complaints are common.

"You know, when it's a matter of safety, we'll find the money," he said.

The police department is also responding with awareness campaigns featuring public service announcements depicting grim scenes to grab viewers' attention.

Babineaux said she doesn't want anyone else to go through what she's been through. She said her daughter is helping her increase safety for everyone.

"She doesn't want it either," Babineaux said following a press conference at Larkspur Elementary. "She has a lot of friends here at school and she loves this school and she loves all her friends."

Ryan Loyd was Texas Public Radio's city beat and political reporter. He left the organization in December, 2014.