Austin organization focusing on safer streets celebrates launch

AUSTIN (KXAN) — A push to make Austin’s streets safer is gaining traction.

Supporters turned out Sunday to launch their group ATX Safer Streets. The group wants fewer drunk drivers on the road. It’s trying to accomplish that goal by advocating for more transportation options.

“[The South by Southwest crash] shook me to the bone when that happened,” said Sara LeVine, founder of ATX Safer Streets. “And anything that we can do to prevent another death needs to happen.”

Sarah was a bartender and heard about issues with transportation.

“Enough people have complained. I felt like it was finally time that somebody needed to do something about this. So I created a petition on Change.org,” said LeVine.

ATX Safer Streets was in its infancy.

The group is adding new voices to the conversation about transportation.

One petition turned into three volunteers pushing for changes like: more cab permits, getting services such as Lyft and Uber to town, 24-hour buses, and parking changes.

“Several city council candidates [came here to the launch party]. Chris Riley is here, (who is a city council member). So, we’re getting the message out to people — absolutely.”

“We’ve gotten tired of the continued incidents we’re seeing where people are getting killed and injured on Austin streets,” council member Riley said. “We’ve got to do something to provide more options so that people don’t feel like the only way they can get home after a night on sixth street is to get into their car.”

ATX Safer Streets also arranged several options for safe rides home from the launch party.

Now, the volunteers are moving into a new phase.

“We’re trying to raise enough to become a legitimate non-profit and not just three volunteers,” said LeVine.

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