NEW HAVEN, Conn. (WTNH) — After one of the deadliest years for pedestrians in the state, New Haven is making changes to some problem intersections.

The Elm City announced Wednesday that it would spend $400,000 in federal funding for several quick-build projects. The goal is to make streets safer for everyone — including drivers and pedestrians.

For Che’rie Sheppard, these upgrades couldn’t come soon enough.

“I was thrown down the street and I skidded a little bit,” said Che’rie Sheppard.

Four months ago, Sheppard was hit by a vehicle while crossing Whalley Avenue. She woke up in the hospital with rods and screws in her arm, two broken ribs, her spine broken in two places, a broken leg and a brain aneurism. Sheppard is now unable to work and isn’t able to take anyone to court because the driver drove off.

Police haven’t found who hit her.

“I felt very helpless,” Sheppard said. She has since started a GoFundMe to help with her medical expenses.

Helplessness soon turned to heartbreak. Three months after the crash, a close friend was hit and killed by a vehicle on the same street.

“It really tore my heart up to know that this could have been prevented if somebody did something a little sooner,” Sheppard said.

New Haven hopes to make the city safer by using a $400,000 federal grant to upgrade and improve road designs so that they are more inclusive of walkers and cyclists.

“These types of improvements are quick, low-cost, low-budget but can make a real difference in neighborhoods,” Mayor Justin Elicker said.

The upgrades include making roads more narrow so drivers have to slow down and highlighting pedestrian space with paint. Blatchley Avenue, Bassett Street, Kimberly Avenue, Wintergreen Avenue, Winthrop Avenue and Sherman Avenue will see improvements.

Winthrop Avenue connects with Whalley Avenue near the place where Sheppard was hit. She’s glad the city is making upgrades — and that she’s alive to advocate for herself and her friend.

“Our tax dollars pay for this type of thing,” Sheppard said. “When we see things like this, we shouldn’t take it lightly, so I’m blessed enough to be here to stand here and tell the story for her as well as other ones who passed.”

Elicker said the city will continue adding speed bumps and bump outs across the city, calling these upgrades a small part of a much larger project to enhance infrastructure safety.