How younger Charlotteans are getting a response from city leaders

How younger Charlotteans are getting a response from city leaders

CHARLOTTE, NC (WBTV) - For Midtown Charlotte resident Anna Vagnerini, the intersection at Queens Road and 4th Street certainly isn't the most pedestrian-friendly part of her daily journey

"I walk or bike all the way from Uptown and this is the most stressful part of my commute," she says.

As the area gets busier, she's far from the only person pounding the pavement here.

"It just gets really, really crowded with all the people that are leaving the hospital and all the work traffic going home," she says.

Vagnerini thinks the danger could be lessened by adding a turn arrow to the existing traffic light.

"When people get the green light, they're waiting for traffic to clear and then, when they try to turn left they may not see that a pedestrian is also waiting for the traffic to clear," she says.

So, as many 28-year-olds do, Anna took to Twitter.

"I decided to yell into the void, because I almost got hit again today," she says.

She opened the app, but at first, was at a loss for who would tackle these concerns.

"I started typing in 'Charlotte' and [@CLTgov] popped right up, and I said maybe they know," she says.

Within minutes, Vagnerini was shocked – a reply, with instructions.

Her district's council member Larken Egleston says response on social media is a shift the city has recently taken to reach more people her age. He attributes some of it to a noticeable drop in the average age of council, in the last election.

"More technologies are coming out, and being younger elected officials, we're probably adopting more of those methods than maybe our predecessors," he says.

Egleston and fellow councilmember Tariq Bokhari host a podcast "R&D in the QC." Councilmember Braxton Winston regularly hosts Facebook Lives.

Egleston says it's all about meeting residents where they are.

"You can't expect that everybody's going to just show up at the government center to ask about a traffic light," Egleston says.

"I don't even know when city council meetings are," Vagnerini says. "I just want to tell somebody and hope that they care."

The subject of Vagnerini's concern, the Queens Road and 4th Street intersection, is a block away from where council just approved a new 20-story building and some new traffic lights in other spots of that area.

In years to come, there is expected to be an increase in pedestrian traffic.

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