Senior Citizens Raise Traffic Safety Concerns

April 18, 2014

A group of senior citizens in Charlottesville are asking the City Council to help make the busy road outside their housing complex safer, before it's too late.

Midway Manor is located on South Street just beyond the Ridge McIntire intersection. Residents say the blind curve makes it dangerous for the elderly and disabled residents to cross the street.

"I turned 68 and I want to see 69, and I don't want to be crushed by a car coming around that curb," said resident Mary Carey.

Every few minutes cars come whizzing around the corner, and several cars parked along street, block the view of drivers and pedestrians. Residents, including some in motor scooters, must make their way into the middle of the road before they can see if a vehicle is approaching.

"You can look up the street from the sidewalk, but there's a blind spot. Once you get out into the street it's too late," said Carey.

According to Carey many residents cross South Street to cut through the Lewis and Clark parking lot in order to reach the bus stop on the Downtown Mall. City Councilors have suggested they go up the the Ridge, McIntire intersection and cross from there.

"I think it's senseless for them to walk all the way up the curb to Ridge Street, cross over, go down Water Street and cross over again when they can have a straight line from here over to the bus stop," Carey said.

Residents have asked City Council to put in a cross walk, but according to Midway Manor's manager Councilors have said it against code. Carey says residents would like to see parking eliminated up to the curve, or a pedestrian crossing sign added. The city's traffic engineer has removed one of the parking space, but Carey says more needs to be done before it's too late.

"Last City Council meeting they were talking about the concerns of the neighborhoods. What about the concerns of the seniors who live in those neighborhoods," said Carey.

CBS19 reached out to the city traffic engineer for comment and is waiting to hear back.

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