Pedestrian improvements in Greenville

GREENVILLE, N.C.(WNCT)- Final plans are in place to improve safety not only for pedestrians, but for drivers in Greenville.

The plan is all part of the Pedestrian Improvement Project to upgrade 15 intersections in the city. It’s something that residents and city officials say is desperately needed.

“I honestly think that there needs to be more for the people that have to walk,” said Jenna Stallings, Greenville resident. “I would not feel safe if I was one of those people that had to.”

In 2014, there were 50 accidents involving pedestrians in Greenville. This year, there’s already been one fatal pedestrian accident.

“This intersection is so busy, it’s dangerous,” said Steve Hawley, Communications Manager for City of Greenville. “You take your life into your own hands when try and cross over it because there’s no way to know exactly when the best time is.”

At some major intersections in Greenville, there aren’t devices installed to tell pedestrians when it’s safe to walk and when they should stop, but they are included in the Pedestrian Improvement Project.

“The city wasn’t built with a tremendous amount of infrastructure for sidewalks, but as our population grows, there’s more and more of a need to build out more sidewalks,” explained Hawley.

The project will focus on:

• Installing pedestrian crossing signals and buttons
• Improving wheelchair ramps on street corners
• Connecting existing sidewalks
• Creating crosswalks where none exist

“This project would help put sidewalks in cuts, into the corners, and tie into existing sidewalks,” said Hawley.

And how does this project sit with the citizens of Greenville? Most that 9 On Your Side spoke with reacted favorably.

Hawley says not everyone has a car and this project keeps those people in mind.

“It’s also important to remember not everyone has cars and trucks, so you have to look out for people on bicycles and pedestrians as well,” said Hawley.

The city says that all the changes will cost $750,000. The funding is being provided by the city in collaboration with the DOT.

Construction will begin in July and the entire project should be finished by the end of 2015.

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