Friends of woman killed walking dog in Montrose push for safer streets

HOUSTON, Texas (KTRK) -- It's been six months since Polly Koch, 63, was hit and killed by a truck in a Montrose intersection. Since then, Koch's friends formed Safe Streets Houston in her memory.

This morning, the group stood at the corner where Koch died, holding signs, asking the city to make changes.

Koch was crossing Richmond Avenue at Mandell Street on Nov. 28 when she was run over. Friends say she was about a mile from home, walking her two dachshunds. One of the dogs was also killed.

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Friends of a woman killed walking her dog in Montrose have now become her advocate.

Jane Creighton knows the intersection well. She's crossed it hundreds of times.

"I spend a lot of time in this neighborhood," Creighton said.

Koch was Creighton's best friend. These days, Creighton looks at the intersection differently.

"You become aware of these things when you lose somebody," she said.

"We've learned through this sad experience how common it is," said Elizabeth Gregory, another close friend of Koch's.

The two women want drivers and pedestrians to be more aware of their surroundings. They are two of the activists with Safe Streets Houston who will speak at city council today.

"I can't wait anymore. I just can't accept another person dying," said Raj Mankad, who started Safe Streets Houston.

Bike Houston, a nonprofit organization fighting for safer bikeways in Houston, backs the group. Chairman Dan Piette says drivers who hit cyclists and pedestrians need to be held accountable.

The driver who hit Koch wasn't charged.

"That is unacceptable. You can't let these (drivers) just say, 'Oh well, I didn't see them,'" Piette said.

What's the answer? Is it longer crossing time for pedestrians? Different traffic signals? Adding a median? Group members admit they don't know. They just want to get the conversation started. It won't bring Koch back, but they say it could prevent another tragic death.

"I miss her all the time," Gregory said.

Earlier this month, city officials announced it will work to find the 10 most dangerous intersections in Houston and come up with a plan to make them safer.

To find out more about Safe Streets Houston visit their website:

RELATED: Neighbors demanding change after woman killed while walking dogs in Montrose

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