NEW ORLEANS -- Another pedestrian is dead after being hit while trying to cross a busy stretch of South Claiborne Avenue. City street lights from Martin Luther King Boulevard to Napoleon Avenue remain shut off.
Residents living in the area say that's turned into a public safety hazard and that their pleas to the city continue to be ignored.
"Both his arms were broke, both his legs were broke. He had a plate in his head, 24 screws," said Central City resident Yolanda Harrington.
This weekend Harrington and her family will bury her uncle, Alvin Turner. The Central City man died on Oct. 1 at University Hospital weeks after being hit by a car trying to cross S. Claiborne Avenue.
"My uncle got hit right across the street from where we're at, crossing the street because its dark and they don't have any lights out here," said Harrington.
During daylight hours and after dark, neighbors confirm cars continue to race along S. Claiborne Avenue rarely stopping or slowing down for pedestrians. The unlit highway from Napoleon Avenue to Martin Luther King Junior Boulevard has turned into a dangerous game of chicken and lives are being lost. Last night, an unidentified man was hit and killed crossing at General Taylor.
"I have five friends who've been killed out here. One of them is named Jerry," said Central City resident Rickey Brock.
Red and blue flowers mark the spot where Jerry Clark was hit and killed by a car. Brock says police still haven't found the driver who hit his friend and took off.
"You have 66,000 cars that travel everyday there. There is a need to possibly slow the traffic down, but I believe the immediate issue is lighting," said New Orleans City Councilmember LaToya Cantrell.
Her office has been contacted by concerned citizens about the lack of street lighting. Cantrell confirms that part of the highway is being left in the dark because the city is working on a streetscape project that includes new LED lighting.
"The timeline I've received from the Department of Public Works is by November of this year," added Cantrell.
For those who've lost loved ones crossing this busy highway, like Harrington, another plea is directed at the city in the hopes of saving other people's lives.
"We need the city to get some lights out here at least where you can see and slow this traffic down," said Harrington.
City of New Orleans Press Secretary Tyler Gamble issued this statement about the lights being off on S. Claiborne Avenue:
"The quality of life and safety of our residents is always a top priority. In the next several weeks as part of the $2 million streetscape project in the area, DPW expects to complete the conversion to LED energy efficient streetlights on S. Claiborne Avenue from Napoleon Avenue to Martin Luther King."
The city also says to date, over 16,000 energy efficient lights (31 percent of the city’s streetlights) have been installed citywide since Mayor Landrieu took office. The city urges residents to report needed streetlight repairs or outages by calling 311 or 504-658-2299.