Light rail passengers worried about crossing streets to get to some stops

CHARLOTTE, NC (WBTV) - Light rail stations on the Blue Line Extension have been open for a week and some passengers have questions.

A viewer contacted WBTV with concerns about crossing the streets to get to a couple of the stations.

"It's dangerous," one passenger told WBTV.

"I think they're rushing everything" another passenger said.

For some people, getting to and from the Parkwood Station is a problem because at the intersection of Parkwood Avenue and North Brevard Street - where the station is located - the traffic lights and crosswalk signals are covered. And there's no crosswalk outside the station on Parkwood or Brevard.

"If you don't have the stop lights and the crosswalks we won't be safe crossing the streets," said Mary Adams, while walking to the Parkwood Station. "We need that to get on the other side and be safe."

People walking to and coming from the light rail have to keep their heads on a swivel.

Dennis Williams, who was also walking to the Parkwood stop, said, "if you're trying to cross where that curb is right there – you're subject to get hit."

WBTV contacted the Charlotte Area Transit Authority (CATS) to find out why there is no street crossing protection for passengers.

A spokesperson for CATS says "currently, there is no crosswalk at the Parkwood Station."

In a statement to WBTV, CATS says "Parkwood Station has traffic lights and pedestrian signals waiting on final completion at the intersection of Parkwood and Brevard Streets. This is anticipated to be done by mid-April."

The agency says "there are also several other Parkwood Street improvements coming through the Northeast Corridor Infrastructure Project (NECI)."

The 25th Street Station is also raising passengers' eyes.

On the street - only one side has a sidewalk and there's no crosswalk.

One man told WBTV that "cars drive up and down here fast and at night time when you try to get across you don't know if you're going to get hit so I know they really do need to make one."

CATS says "25th Street Station will receive a crosswalk as part of the 25th Street Northeast Corridor Infrastructure (NECI) project. There will also be other improvements made to the 25th Street area through the project."

While some passengers are worried that CATS rushed to get the light rail extension running, a spokesperson for the agency says "although these items need to be completed, the LYNX Blue Line was ready for revenue service on March 16, and is safely transporting passengers."

Concerns are also being raised about emergency phones not working.

CATS acknowledges that "emergency phones at the parking decks are currently not operational. CATS is aware of this issue and is working with the contractor to bring them online within the next month."

The transit authority says "law enforcement is stationed at all parking decks 24/7, and additional law enforcement patrol the decks along the LYNX Blue Line. We are currently repairing one phone at Arrowood Station; however, there are two other phones located at the station for riders to use in case of an emergency."

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