Elizabeth Area Deemed a Dangerous Spot for Charlotte Pedestrians

Our Charlotte car accident attorneys posted about a female pedestrian who was struck and killed in the Elizabeth area by a drunk driver recently on our North Carolina Personal Injury Lawyers Blog. Much of the community and local businesses are disturbed by the accident. So much so, that they are vehemently trying to push the City of Charlotte into adding safety measures to prevent further accidents from occurring in this dangerous section of roadway.
WSOC-TV reports that the stretch of 7th Avenue between Pecan Avenue and Hawthorne Lane has been repeatedly dangerous for Charlotte pedestrian accidents because there is no crosswalk located at a popular crossover area. In addition, the visibility to see oncoming traffic is limited, so making it across the street safely becomes a challenge.

Following an investigation by the Charlotte Department of Transportation, a proposal was drawn to help make this area safer. According to the article, some of the highlights of the Elizabeth Area Plan proposal include:

-Making several changes at the intersection of East 7th Street at North Caswell Road and Pecan Avenue to help pedestrians cross safely. Suggestions for improved safety features would include changing the geometric design, implementing crosswalks at all legs of the intersection, installing countdown signals and curb ramps for pedestrians, and using leading clearance interval signals for pedestrians.

-Implementing more crossing areas for pedestrians at East 7th Street, Pecan Avenue and North Caswell Road.

-Devising a plan for traffic calming measures in the highly congested area for pedestrians and motorists. One method would be to create mid-block crossings on East 7th Street so that pedestrians don’t have to walk down to the corner to cross the street.

One reason this particular area is dangerous is because traffic goes zipping by and pedestrians have very little time to get to the other side in between passing vehicles. TrafficCalming.org explains that this safety measure in highly congested areas can be beneficial because it forces vehicles to slow down and gives pedestrians a shorter distance to walk to safety. Examples of traffic calming safety measures include: narrowing streets, placing street islands in the middle of a multiple-lane road, landscaped curb bump outs, roundabouts, and speed humps. Essentially anything that can get a motorist to slow down, be more alert, and shorten the distance that a pedestrian needs to get to a safe area can help calm a congested traffic area.

The City Council recently met and voted to adopt the Elizabeth Area Plan. The overall goal is to create a more inviting pedestrian environment in an area that thrives in restaurants, pubs, retail storefronts and business establishments.

The responsibility lies with transportation departments and local governments to make sure pedestrians aren’t put at risk of injury every time they attempt to cross the street. Motorists can do their part by slowing down and using caution at intersections where congested pedestrian traffic is expected.

If you have been injured in a Charlotte pedestrian accident, contact the car accident attorneys at Lee Law Offices, P.A. for a free and confidential appointment to discuss your case. Call 1-800-887-1965.

Additional Resources:
City Council to vote on Elizabeth area plan after fatal crash, by WSOCTV staff, WSOCTV.

More Blog Entries:
Daylight Saving Time Increases Risks for Nighttime Car Accidents in Gastonia, Elsewhere, North Carolina Car Accident Lawyers Blog, November 9, 2011.

NCDOT and AAA Team Up to Shine Light on North Carolina Pedestrian Accidents, North Carolina Personal Injury Lawyers Blog, September 28, 2011.

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