Lithuania plans to upgrade over 1,700 unsafe pedestrian crossings by 2022
Some 1,721 of 1,949 pedestrian crossings on Lithuania's roads of national significance are unsafe, with all of them planned to be upgraded or closed in 2018 through 2021, the Lithuanian Road Administration (LRA) said.
The Transport Ministry expects over 10 million euros to be allocated for that purpose.
"We hope that this will help reduce the accident rate and the number of pedestrian fatalities," Transport Minister Rokas Masiulis said at a news conference on Thursday.
About 700 pedestrian crossings are to be upgraded by the end of 2019 and 500 in 2020 and 2021 each.
In inventorying the pedestrian crossings, the administration looked at their accident and fatality numbers and assessed the risk of accidents occurring in the future.
"This is a situation where the road is too wide and pedestrians can't pause safely in the middle of the road. Some crossings are invisible," Vitalijus Andrejevas, acting director of the Road Administration, said at the news conference.
"The risk of speed is also one of the reasons. One of the solutions is to ensure that speed limits are not exceeded. Raised pedestrian crossings help solve this issue," he said.
According to the latest figures from the LRA, 39 pedestrians have died in the country since the start of the year, including 11 killed on pedestrian crossings.
The administration has also drawn up a list of unsafe intersections, but upgrading them would require over 400 million euros, which would make it a "very long-term" project, the director said.