Pedestrian dies crossing West University

West University Avenue sign in Gainesville
West University has been the scene of numerous pedestrian incidents. (File photo by Suzette Cook)

Another pedestrian has died while trying to cross West University Avenue in Gainesville. 

The incident occurred at 10:48 p.m. Friday night in the 400 block of West University. According to the Gainesville Police Department (GPD), the initial investigation found a pedestrian was trying to cross the roadway from the south to the north when a car traveling east struck him. 

“First and CPR were rendered on the scene, however the pedestrian succumbed to the injuries and was pronounced deceased on scene,” a GPD press release said. 

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GPD said its investigation into the accident is ongoing, but it did not issue any immediate charges or citations. 

The death comes almost two years after a student death on West University sparked local advocacy regarding pedestrian safety on the stretch of West University running along the northern edge of the UF campus. Another student fatality followed the next month. 

State, local and university officials have implemented a range of plans to address the issue, including education and enforcement initiativeslowering the speed limit and installing speed tables. But accidents along West University have continued to occur, and Mayor-elect Harvey Ward says the pace of change is not fast enough. 

“I don’t know all the details, but I know we MUST keep pressure on FDOT to follow through on re-engineering our signature street, end-to-end, from the eastern city limits to west 34th St.,” Ward wrote in a Sunday Facebook post. “Progress is happening, but it is too slow.” 

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Mary park smith

Better lighting in some of these areas would help