• 9 Investigates: Pedestrians risking it all to cross Independence Boulevard

    By: John Paul

    Updated:

    CHARLOTTE, N.C. - It’s a story we brought you more than a year ago – people risking their lives to cross a busy stretch of Independence Boulevard in East Charlotte and dying as a result.

    Yet, since that report, more pedestrians have lost their lives trying to make that crossing.

    John Wylie is now just another number in the list of those killed crossing Independence Boulevard.

    Yet, he is so much more than a statistic. He was a decorated Vietnam veteran, a church deacon and a loving father and husband.

    >> We’ve been tracking this dangerous situation for more than a year. WATCH above as anchor John Paul talks to family members of victims and pushes city leaders for answers.

    Three more people have died crossing the newly widened corridor along Independence since Channel 9's report in 2018.

    Charlotte Councilman Matt Newton has been watching the situation as well.

    “We’ve seen in the past year more fatalities,” he said. “We’re in the process of doing the best we can to address it.”

    One of the city’s first steps was to move the bus stop. It’s also announced a study on the area, now labeled a high-risk corridor since Channel 9's initial report.

    [9 investigates: Pedestrian dangers along Independence Boulevard]

    There are overpasses that cross Independence Boulevard, but they are about a mile apart, and many people say walking that far out of their way isn’t worth it. So they choose to risk the crossing instead.

    The district engineer said studies typically look at traffic flow but said it would be good to examine where the appropriate types of crossings should be installed.

    Such a study takes time, and Newton said he is frustrated by how long finding a safe solution is taking.  

    “This is certainly on CDOT (Charlotte Department of Transportation) and NC-DOT (North Carolina Department of Transportaion)'s radar,” he said. “There will be money allotted to a study.”

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