City rolls out app in South End in hopes to improve traffic safety

CHARLOTTE — A new app rolling out in a busy area of Charlotte could help improve traffic safety and pave the way for other communities to use the same technology.

Traffic in South End can get busy and dangerous.

“See people fly through the intersections they floor when they think it’s a yellow (light),” said South End resident Reed Levy.

One area alone had 449 crashes between January and August of last year.

City leaders want to put a stop to the danger and released a pilot program using the TravelSafely App. Justin Carroll with the city’s Department of Transportation said the goal is to make drivers more aware of others.

“This is an app that helps integrate all three user points by using a cellphone and it geo-locates using your GPS where the vehicle is, where the pedestrian is and where the bicyclists are,” Carroll said.

Channel 9′s Almiya White downloaded the app that lets people know when they are approaching a red light and alerts them when the light is turning green.

The app is not just for drivers. Pedestrians and bicyclists can find uses for it.

“I walk into the city every day to go to work and so I think it’d be very beneficial,” Levy said.

He said he’s sold on the app.

“Anywhere in the city where there’s a ton of expansion, a lot of walkers, bikers, joggers out -- I think that would help,” Levy said.

Carroll said they will monitor the app for a year to see if it makes a difference.

Officials will research the data after the one-year pilot study to see if there were reductions in crashes and injuries, Carroll said.

The results will determine if they expand the app to other parts of Charlotte.

People in the busy area are curious to see how it goes.

“It’ll be interesting to see if it has the sticking power and catches on,” said resident Derrick Robinson.

>>Learn more about the TravelSafely app here.

VIDEO: Lowe’s gives inside look at new South End tech hub

Almiya White

Almiya White, wsoctv.com

Almiya White is a reporter for WSOC-TV