City Council Eyes Pedestrian Safety, Sidewalk Improvements
2017 has been a dangerous year for pedestrians in Charlotte. 24 people had been struck in traffic and killed through the end of October, according to the Charlotte Observer. That compares with about 20 pedestrian deaths in all of last year.
At Monday evening's City Council meeting, council members will consider a nearly $2 million contract with Zoladz Construction Co. for ongoing pedestrian safety improvements. The proposed contract calls for new traffic and pedestrian signals including mid-block flashing beacons, and so-called 'refuge islands' where pedestrians can pause and wait for a break in traffic. The City plans to make such improvements at locations across Charlotte, based in part on public requests.
Also on the Council’s agenda is a public hearing for comment on proposed changes to the city's sidewalk ordinance. Major goals include reducing gaps in Charlotte’s sidewalk network, and limiting areas where sidewalks run right along the curb, without a buffer, especially on busy thoroughfares.
The public hearing follows the council’s approval in February of a comprehensive pedestrian plan that the City calls Charlotte WALKS. Monday's Council meeting and hearing begin at 7 p.m at the Government Center on East Fourth Street.