Pedestrian death sparks concern for safer roads - FOX Carolina 21

Pedestrian death sparks concern for safer roads

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Greenville road. (Source: Fox Carolina) Greenville road. (Source: Fox Carolina)
GREENVILLE, SC (FOX Carolina) -

Greenville County is full of fast paced, and busy roads - roads that can be extremely dangerous if pedestrians are close by.

"What we've been seeing recently with pedestrians is crossing where there's no crosswalk... they're crossing within specific traffic signals. The pedestrian should cross at the designated area on the roadway," said Chris Bailey.

Bailey is a Master Deputy in the Traffic Unit with the Greenville County Sheriff's Office. He has responded to scenes like the one on Wednesday morning, when an 89-year-old woman was hit and killed on Anderson Road. He said pedestrians should wear reflective clothing and drivers need to be alert. 

"Drivers need to pay more attention to further out on their horizon instead of just the hood of their car. They need to look further ahead and be aware of their surroundings," said Bailey.

Senator Karl Allen said the woman killed this week died on a road in his district. 

"Our sympathy goes out to them and their family and we want to leave no stone unturned," Allen said.

The senator has been working with the Department of Transportation to make changes to Augusta Road since Johnny Crouch was hit and killed there in 2014. Since then, DOT put in a new traffic light and pedestrian signs. The most recent fatality could lead to more changes.

"It causes us to shift the focus to at least look at the issue of lighting and any improvements that we can make in this area to make it more safe," Allen said.

Carolina High School and a church sit on either side of the road where the woman was struck, which Allen said is concerning.  

"We brought in DOT and the Highway Patrol to look at sight distance, to look at the traffic volume and to have the engineers look at the marking that are on the roadway to make sure that they are safe," he said. 

And as Greenville continues to grow, Allen said those most likely to use public transit can't access it.  He said rent is going up in the places that the buses frequent. 

James Keel, the General Manager of Public Transportation for the City of Greenville, said in the upcoming months they will be working on a study to see where more routes could be beneficial.

"We're hoping that after this study comes back to us we can actually look at our route system and not cut anything but optimize what we serve and potentially through that optimization hopefully serve more people," Keel said. 

And as many changes could be coming, Allen said he'll keep working to get the high rate of deaths down. The Department of Public Safety released statistics on the number of pedestrian fatalities by county for every year since 2012.

Greenville County has had the most pedestrians killed in the state every year, consistently in the teens.  Across the state there have been 40 pedestrians killed on South Carolina roads since Jan. 1. 

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