Crews begin work on new crosswalk after fatal pedestrian accident involving 6-year-old boy

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ROCHESTER, N.Y. — Construction is underway on a new sidewalk along Thurston road where 6-year-old RJ Grantham Jr. was killed after being hit by a pickup truck in June.

RJ’s mom Farasa Brown said this project would not have been possible without the full support of the community and everyone who signed a petition submitted to Rochester City Council.

“They were able to support what I wanted to have done out here in the community, so we had over 3,500 signatures — and now we are getting a crosswalk in honor of RJ,” Brown said.

Amid tragedy, Brown said that she found purpose building support for the crosswalk to make her community safer.

“It will have blinking lights and buttons, so that people are able to press the button when they cross the street so the traffic can slow down,” Brown said.

After the petition was filed with City Council, a traffic study found steady levels of pedestrian traffic in the area where RJ was killed on June 23 — and driver speeding in excess of 30 miles per hour.

19th Ward Association President Josie McClary credits her community and elected officials for taking action.

“With the city and county working together because of the outpour that the community had, they really worked fast and they really pushed this forward,” McClary said.

According to the city, the midblock crosswalk will include high-visibility pavement markings, a rectangular rapid flashing beacon, and pedestrian signs.

RJ’s grandmother Venita Brown said that the crosswalk will serve as a tribute to her grandson forever.

“They’ve already started this project. It’s a blessing. I just, me as a grandma, just want to thank the community for all the signatures, everybody that took their time to put in, to sign, to hold us down, to keep us in their prayers — and I really think it’s amazing that the project moved as fast as it did,” Brown said.