Crosswalk Zebras Memphis
March 23, 2023
In collaboration with Le Bonheur Children’s Hospital

At each Crosswalk Zebra event volunteers dress in Zebra costumes and walk – or dance! – pedestrians across the street to attract drivers' attention.

This program is a playful way to create safer pedestrian crossing situations at difficult intersections by enhancing pedestrian visibility.⁠

What are “Crosswalk Zebras”?

Crosswalk Zebras take inspiration from Bolivia’s cebritas program, which dispatches citizens dressed in zebra suits (to mimic the stripes of a crosswalk) in order to draw more attention to pedestrians crossing the street. At each Crosswalk Zebra event, MMDC will partner with neighborhood stakeholders and engage three to five volunteers to walk – or dance – pedestrians across the street with the goal of attracting the attention of drivers. This program is a playful way to create safer crossing situations for pedestrians at difficult intersections by enhancing pedestrian visibility. Future Crosswalk Zebra locations will be announced throughout 2023.

Pedestrian Safety in the Medical District and Memphis

According to Smart Growth America’s Dangerous by Design report, Memphis is the third most dangerous metropolitan area for pedestrians. 2022 was a record-breaking year for pedestrian fatalities in Memphis: drivers killed 83 people walking, up from 61 pedestrian deaths in 2021. Pedestrians are vulnerable roadway users who often face speeding vehicles, drivers that fail to yield or stop for them in crosswalks, broken or poorly maintained sidewalks, and many other challenges. MMDC’s pedestrian safety initiatives and education events, like Crosswalk Zebras Memphis, are paired with streetscape improvement projects throughout the Medical District. These streetscape projects are implemented in partnership with the City of Memphis and the Downtown Memphis Commission in order to create safer, more accessible streets for all users. MMDC has executed three phases of streetscape projects since 2016 and is slated to implement two projects this year as part of the city’s Accelerate Memphis initiative.

Read more in the Daily Memphian’s article here.

Stay tuned for the next Crosswalk Zebras events coming this year by subscribing to our email newsletters and following @mmdc901 on social media!

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