Sidewalk Project Design Begins Year After Garinger H.S. Student's Death

Sep 25, 2013

Garinger High School senior Brittany Palmer was 18 when she died after being hit by an SUV while crossing the street in March 2012. Her death prompted city council to approve funding for sidewalks in front of the school.
Credit Tasnim Shamma

 Charlotte Transportation officials received public input Tuesday night on a dangerous intersection it’s in the process of redesigning. The intersection near Garinger High School has been the site of 42 crashes in three years, and the death of a teenager crossing the street.

The intersection of Sugar Creek and Eastway Drive has no sidewalks, marked crosswalks or pedestrian countdown signals.

But that is expected to change by March 2015. It’s the death of 18-year-old Brittany Palmer that is making it happen, says Charlotte Traffic Safety Manager Debbie Self.

"I wish that we could build more of these and not have to have a very tragic situation to prompt our leaders in order to do something," Self says. 

City Council approved money for a new intersection a few weeks after an SUV hit Palmer crossing the street in front of Garinger High School when she was trying to get to a softball game.

Tamela Fennell is the parent of a former Garinger High School student, Kai Fennell, who graduated in 2012. She says she's seen 'plenty of misses' when students try to cross the street, so she attended the public meeting to show her support.
Credit Tasnim Shamma

The city plans to install two sidewalks, add more signs and remove a free-flow right-turn lane to slow traffic down. Katrina White, the mother of Brittany Palmer, was among two dozen people who attended last night’s meeting. She came away impressed.

"I cannot believe the intricate detail that they've gone through to make sure that families are safe," White says. "Because even when school is out, there are families that live around here. And on Saturdays and Sundays, they need to cross the street."

Construction on the $1.1 million project is expected to begin next year.