A 9-year old girl was hit by a car crossing Milford Mill Road in Baltimore County three years ago, and locals say the area is still a dangerous zone for neighborhood kids.
Kalina Brockington was hit by a Nissan on the 3700 block of Milford Mill Road on the morning of May 3, 2013.
“I was in my home getting the kids ready and I heard a sudden crash or a sound or something and I felt my heart pull and I wasn't sure what happened, but I rushed to the window and I just knew something happened to one of my kids," said Maleena Brockington, Kalina's mother.
Kalina suffered two broken legs, frontal brain damage and an eye injury.
Neighbors said she was crossing the road to catch the bus to school that morning with two siblings when she was hit.
“I don't remember the accident, but I remember my sister and my brother telling me what happened. It was a lot to experience but I had to go through what I went through,” Kalina said.
The driver stayed on the scene and wasn’t charged, yet locals expressed concern at the time about children crossing the road each day without any protection in place to keep them safe.
"There is no crosswalk, there is no crossing guard, there are no speed bumps, there's no radar. There's no safety," Gretchen Anderson said back in 2013. Anderson was neighbor who witnessed the accident.
Those same complaints remain on the incident’s three-year anniversary. Family members say there’s still no safe crossing area in place for kids to cross each morning.
"Whether it could be slowing the traffic down, making them aware, 'Hey, there's kids in this neighborhood,' signs posted; something to get the driver's attention," Maleena Brockington said.
However, Greg Carski, the bureau chief for the Baltimore County Traffic Engineering and Transportation Planning department, said his hands are tied.
"Milford Mill Rd in this area is federally classified as a Minor Arterial, it would not [be] eligible for traffic calming features such as speed humps, which are limited to local roads," he wrote in a statement.
As for crosswalks, he said there's only been one pedestrian accident in the past 10 years, so they wouldn't consider adding one there. Additionally, research shows it may not make a difference.
"Regarding crosswalks, numerous studies have been conducted throughout the United States looking at the safety aspects of installing marked crosswalks. There is considerable evidence that the marking of crosswalks can have negative impacts on pedestrian safety, in certain cases. The resulting thought is to limit crosswalk installations to locations where there are reasonably high volumes of pedestrians and where special attention is required to notify unfamiliar drivers of the general presence of concentrated pedestrian activity. We have also seen numerous situations where providing such markings embolden pedestrians to exercise less caution when crossing a street and at the same time cause no real change in driver behavior. This can create a situation where the number of pedestrian accidents actually increases, even though the perception is it should be safer," Carski wrote in an email.
He added that the 30 mile per hour speed limit is appropriate for the roadway and "a lower posting would be unrealistic." Instead, controlling of speeds is an enforcement issue handled by the Baltimore County Police Department.
Baltimore County Police spokeswoman Elise Armacost said precinct officers are vigilant about enforcement and that they've launched a pedestrian safety education campaign to help prevent accidents like this one. They want to encourage anyone who thinks there might be a problem with speeding in their neighborhood to contact their local precinct and their department will work to assign resources to refocus on those areas. In addition, pedestrians have the responsibility of crossing legally and without distraction, and if a pedestrian must cross in an area without a designated crosswalk, the walker must yield to oncoming traffic.
Kalina Brockington and her mother have started a mentoring program for young girls called Princess Time. They want to help girls dealing with issues of insecurity and bullying through writing. If you'd like to learn more or support the program, click here.