Police: Pedestrians making Independence Blvd more dangerous - | WBTV Charlotte

Police: Pedestrians making Independence Blvd more dangerous


Charlotte police said people including many high school students are jumping a barrier and putting their lives at risk crossing east Independence Boulevard.

We caught teenagers and adults doing this on camera. Police said it's just a matter of time before someone loses their life.

Along Independence Boulevard construction crews took out several intersections and traffic lights. At Conference Drive, drivers can no longer cross. There are road closure signs and concrete barriers. Police said many walkers don't care.

Independence Boulevard has plenty of traffic by car and on foot.

"Don't have a stop light so you're kind of bobbing and weaving with traffic," said LaShawnna Singletary.

Singletary lives in the Ashley Place Apartments and said she misses the stop light that let her cross Independence Boulevard and Conference Drive safely.

"This is just a big inconvenience," said Singletary.

Police said they need her and everyone who hops the concrete barriers to cross at a light. But they can't cite them for jaywalking.

"From an enforcement stand point, it's very difficult for us cause there's really not any sort of state law or city ordinance that directly affects this," said Lt. Brad Koch.

Singletary said if they could write her a ticket she would have lots of them.

"I would have had, I don't know how many jay walks," said Singletary, "I would have had crossing this. I don't know how many times I've crossed this way."

She's not the only one. Further up the street a man getting off the bus near Glendora Drive crosses two lanes, hops the concrete barrier, waits for traffic and crosses two more lanes to get to the other side in less than two minutes.

"At the end of the day when I go home it's very very bad especially when school lets out," said Ashley Murphy, who works on Independence Blvd, "I guess kids from East Meck cross over to the apartments on the opposite side."

"God's been with me," says 9th grader Deon Hollins' after successfully crossing the street every morning to get to school.

Deon and many others students who live near East Mecklenburg High School in Charlotte say getting to school has turned into "pure chaos."

"I just watch out for cars and jump over the barricade," says Deon.

Video we shot shows students crossing multiple lanes of traffic, jumping barricades and walking alarmingly close to cars zipping by them. 

"So you just want to be as careful as possible to get across all that."

This intersection was a place where pedestrians used to be able to safely cross.

But NCDOT began construction in the area earlier this summer and many roads have been closed, blocking off direct access to the school.

Police said they can't enforce a law, but they can educate drivers and walkers to do their part to a avoid a deadly accident.

"We need pedestrians to cross at the crosswalks and also for drivers to really pay attention," said Koch.

"I'm so scared something is going to happen," said Murphy, "It's just a matter of time for something serious to happen with the people driving and the people running across. It's very frightening."

Police said so far they have not had to respond to any calls due to people hopping the concrete barriers, and they hope they won't have to.

Police added NC DOT can't put up a fence in the median because it would be too costly and more likely to fall if someone tried to climb it.

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