Residents say they don't feel safe walking in downtown Louisvill - WDRB 41 Louisville News

Residents say they don't feel safe walking in downtown Louisville

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LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WDRB) -- A mother and her three children are recovering after being hit by an alleged drunk driver in front of the KFC Yum! Center.

Since that night last Thursday, we've learned LMPD is in charge of directing traffic during events, but there's a reason they weren't there the night that family was hit -- and it has to do with ticket sales.

Matthew Kupferberg works in downtown Louisville but he hails from New York City so he knows a thing or two about foot traffic.

He says the problem in Louisville is mainly the drivers.

"Speed, alcohol, lack of driving skills, consideration for pedestrians. It's all a problem," said Kupferberg.

He said cars driving downtown on Main Street get away with speeding because pedestrians are few and far between on a normal day. He thinks there are solutions to the problem.

"Driver education, stronger penalties for drivers who run people over, maybe some pedestrian education wouldn't hurt," he told WDRB.

Metro Police are in charge of directing traffic during events at the KFC Yum! Center, but they aren't required to be present at every single one.

We're told police will assign 30-40 officers to direct traffic for a normal-sized detail at key intersections but the Yum! Center has to sell at least 12,000 tickets to require LMPD's traffic control.

"I think they should be here for every event because a lot of people don't have experience here walking around in traffic because it's also a pedestrian issue so they need some guidance when to walk across the street or not because they're not paying attention," said Kupferberg.

Police say Sara Neathamer and her two children were hit by alleged drunk driver Russell Mullins after leaving the Disney on Ice show on Sept.18.

That show didn't sell enough tickets to require traffic guards. Although witnesses say Mullins ran a red light, residents wonder if a police presence could have prevented the whole thing.

"I think we need cops on patrol to slow it down, slow it down. Too many accidents. It's too dangerous, still dangerous," said Bernard Hemphill.

Kupferberg said it would be beneficial to have police at every event, even if tax payers have to pay for officer overtime.

"Human life is worth it," he told WDRB.

If you'd like to donate to the family, visit their Go Fund Me page here.

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