Locals push to change street design to make pedestrians safer

GREENVILLE, N.C. (WNCT) – A new study shows North Carolina ranks as one of the top states where pedestrians are killed by cars, which has people in the East fighting for change.

Crews have made many improvements in Greenville recently, including adding crosswalks, rumble strips, a stoplight, and plans to build in more sidewalks and bike lanes, but local advocates want more.

The new Dangerous by Design study suggests change could start with road design. Members of the Greenville Bicycle and Pedestrian Commission agree.

That’s why they’re pushing for complete streets which would widen road shoulders, put in medians, and add bike lanes and sidewalks.

“Here in eastern North Carolina I think we don’t always think that we’re going to come in contact with pedestrians when we’re out on the roads and so I think that it’s important to know that some places there aren’t sidewalks, there are really low shoulders and not a lot of room on those shoulders, so pedestrians don’t always know what to do either,” said Greenville Bicycle and Pedestrian Commission Chair Katy Webb.

Creating complete streets in Greenville is hitting a road block though. The Evans Street Widening Project would have been one of the city’s first, but is now on hold.

The Dangerous by Design study finds more than 46,000 people were struck and killed by cars while walking in the U.S. between 2005 and 2014. During that time period, Americans were about 7 times more likely to die as a pedestrian than from a natural disaster.

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