Balloon display held for Troost hit-and-run victim

KANSAS CITY, Mo. — Sunday marked World Day of Remembrance for traffic road victims, a United Nations-identified holiday recognizing the 1.3 million people across the globe who die from traffic violence every year.

Saturday afternoon, family and friends of Michelle Dunmore lined Troost Ave. from 86th St. to 89th St. with red and white balloons in honor of Michelle and other road traffic victims.

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On Oct. 14, Dunmore was killed by a hit-and-run driver at the intersection of 86th and Troost Ave. as she was walking to a nearby bus stop.

“I wanted to honor my mother, who recently had her 60th birthday that she was not able to see because she was a hit and run victim,” Michelle’s daughter Asia Dunmore said. “So I wanted to honor her by putting out a visual message that we need sidewalks out here.”

There are no sidewalks on either side of the street in the area between the Veteran’s Community Project and Center High School.

Asia and other family members and friends of Michelle Dunmore hope that the display will raise awareness about the dangers of the roadway for pedestrians.

“Eventually, I would like to see city leaders put some sidewalks out here for the residents,” Asia Dunmore explained. “I hate to say it, but it seems like we are being overlooked because this is not the first fatality over here.”

Policy Director for BikeWalkKC, Michael Kelley, said that in recent years, hundreds of people have been impacted by traffic violence in Kansas City.

“It’s important to put a face to the numbers we hear. There have been over 780 people who have been killed by traffic violence in Kansas City over the last ten years,” Kelley explained. “And Black Kansas Citians are twice as likely to die as their white counterparts.”

Asia Dunmore started an online petition in her mother’s honor, asking city officials to invest in sidewalk infrastructure throughout Kansas City.

Family and friends hope that Michelle Dunmore’s story will spark change and bring awareness to pedestrian safety issues in Kansas City.

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“Traffic violence is a policy choice we choose to make our streets dangerous by design,” Kelley said. “We can also choose to make them safer for everyone whether they are biking, walking, taking transit, so they can get to and from their destination safely and comfortably.”

Asia Dunmore plans to post updates about the fight for justice for her mother on the GoFundMe page created to help the family with funeral expenses.

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