Residents demand change at dangerous bus stop - WBTV 3 News, Weather, Sports, and Traffic for Charlotte, NC

Residents demand change at dangerous bus stop

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CHARLOTTE, NC (WBTV) - People in south Charlotte want changes made to a bus stop after a man was killed while crossing the street.

Family and friends held a candlelight vigil Thursday night where 51 year old Melvin Givens was hit and killed last week while crossing Steele Creek Road after getting off of the city bus.

We love him and we're just here to celebrate his legacy," said Reginald Dillard, Givens' brother. "We can't bring him back but if we can help anyone not experience that makes us happy and it makes us feel like we've done justice to serve his memory."

On Thursday morning, residents of Steele Creek Senior Living held a meeting with CMPD and transit officials demanding the city's attention to the issue.

"I'm upset because I can't go home and go to sleep because my brother-in -law is dead," said Era Dillard during the meeting.

His mother lives at Steele Creek Senior Living where residents have petitioned to have the bus stop moved.

Reginald Dillard said Givens' visited their mother nearly every day.

"Just about every day he was coming to visit my mom because they lived together for so long and he just loved hanging with his mother," he said. "He was a mama's boy, you might say."

"It's not fair we should have to go through this, we are tax payers," said one resident.

To get to the bus stop, residents have to cross the busy two lane road that intersects with Branch Bend Lane.

Residents with walkers and wheelchairs say they're too scared now to cross after the accident.

Police say plans to get help are in the works.

"We're going to work very closely with Charlotte DOT to try to come up with some solution out here," said Capt. Allan Rutledge of CMPD.

Transit officials inspected the area yWednesday and tell WBTV options would include adding another bus stop on the other side, adding a crosswalk or installing a traffic signal.

Dillard says residents are paying the price for poor city planning.

"They're sitting here with a decision do I go get milk, and if I do will I come home?
Or will someone call my niece or my nephew or my daughter and say I was killed crossing the street to buy milk?" said Dillard.

Linda Durrett, a spokesperson with the Charlotte Department of Transportation emailed this response to WBTV about changes at the stop:

"Earlier this year, a request was made to the CDOT Pedestrian Crossing Committee to review access from a senior residential facility to a transit location on Steele Creek Road near Branch Bend Lane.  The issue was discussed and on Sept. 17, the committee felt locating a pedestrian refuge island there might enhance safety in this area.  Currently, no engineering studies have been conducted nor design plans made.  There are no capital funds earmarked to construct any safety measures at this time."

Residents say they will continue to fight for a change at the bus stop.


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