GREENVILLE, N.C. (WNCT) — The Greenville City Council approved plans to improve pedestrian safety on 10th Street at their meeting Thursday night. The plans are effective immediately and could mean changes from the community in the coming weeks.
Federal funding must now be allocated before the plans officially move forward. DOT proposes crossing signals and medians with fences to cut down on people crossing the street illegally.
High traffic areas near campus will have multiple pedestrian crossing signals. Council member McLean Godley, a ECU graduate, says the proposed light near Copper Beech Apartments and Silver Maple is much needed to protect students in the area. DOT says that light could be installed in as little at eight weeks.
GREENVILLE, N.C. (WNCT) – City and state officials are working to improve pedestrian safety on a dangerous stretch of road in Greenville.
NC Department of Transportation engineers say sections of East 10th Street have higher than normal crash rates.
10th Street is a state road, so it’s up to DOT to fund any major changes. Yet Greenville leaders say these upgrades can’t be stalled any longer. That’s why earlier this month, city crews installed pedestrian crossing signs and rumble strips on the road to alert drivers and make them slow down.
The main issue is pedestrians crossing 10th Street, which regularly sees heavy traffic. There aren’t any crosswalks or islands to help them, but that could soon change.
DOT has studied East 10th Street from Cotanche Street to Oxford Road for 18 months, evaluating how to improve pedestrian safety. Thursday night, engineers will present their final recommendations to City Council. Some of these include adding more crosswalks and putting in a median to assist people walking across the busy street.
Traffic engineer Steve Hamilton says lowering the crash rate takes time.
“It takes change in mindset on both the motorist’s part and the pedestrian’s part. You can’t change just one and have it work. It’d be like having a coin with only one face on it instead of having two faces. It would be worthless,” Hamilton said.
Earlier this week, City Council passed a motion to install a traffic signal on 10th street between 2 student apartment complexes.
McNeill Hall lives in one of those.
“In the time that I’ve lived here at Copper Beech which has been 2 years, I know of 3 people losing their lives because of how busy this road is and how unsafe it is so I just think that a light is definitely what needs to be put in for that to stop happening, especially in the future. ‘Cause we don’t want to move any more lives,” Hall said.
The stoplight must get DOT and federal approval to move forward. This comes after an ECU student’s petition gained interest from thousands, following the death of a fellow student on this section of road.
Improvements could cost up to $9 million. City council must approve the designs before any changes can be made.
City council meets Thursday at 6 p.m. at City Hall.