Saturday, April 11, 2009

Deadly Accident Near Crosswalk Upsets Residents

Neighbors believe strongly that some type of overpass needs to be installed at University and Meadow Drives to prevent other accidents involving those crossing over to happen

Venton BlandinReporter
April 4, 2009
Huntsville - We are learning new details about a deadly accident in Huntsville. A car hits and kills a woman Friday night at the intersection of University and Meadow Drives.

Huntsville Police say a vehicle traveling west bound on University Drive hit the woman as she was crossing the street. The driver told police he did not see the woman. The ambulance rushed her to the hospital, but she died a short time later. We confirmed the victim's name is Lashun Lynch.

Those who live a few feet from the intersection say crossing the road is very dangerous at all times of the day.

Trayshell Bright and her family lives very close to where Lashun Lynch was hit by a car. She can see the spot along with heavy traffic from her house.

"The traffic is very bad as well along with crossing the highway," said Resident Trayshell Bright.

Bright says she see kids running across the highway as well as adults. Some of her neighbors who didn't want to go on camera say the same thing. Huntsville Police have worked several accidents involving cars hitting people in the road.

We watched several people cross over University Drive. Almost all of them failed to use the crosswalk. Some of them annoyed drivers. Some neighbors say jay walking is part of the reason for people getting hit.

Bright goes even further blaming the traffic lights.

"By the time you get halfway across University Drive, to the side where we live, it's already changed," added Bright.

We decided to see for ourselves. We hit the button at the pedestrian crosswalk to stop traffic at University and Meadow Drives. It took nearly two minutes to change.

WHNT NewsChannel 19 Reporter Venton Blandin crossed University Drive back and forth two times when signaled by the cross walk. One time, a car stopped allowing him to cross, but another time a car came very close to hitting him.

The video does seem to back up what Trayshell Bright says.

"Where you cross the street, it's not even safe to cross it, with mashing the button to cross it," added Bright.

Using the crosswalk button gives a little more than 20 seconds for someone to cross University Drive.

Neighbors believe strongly, some type of overpass needs to be installed at University and Meadow Drives to prevent other accidents involving those crossing over to happen.


Anonymous said...

The only way to get food is to cross 7 lanes of high speed traffic.

As long as it doesn't affect me then.......

clintpatty said...

I donno about an overpass. It should at least be retimed and have signs about yielding to pedestrians like on Jefferson near the hospital and Sparkman/Technology at UAH. Or it could be set up for all cars to have a red light when pedestrians get a signal. I'm pretty disappointed in the timing of new intersections that were part of the sidewalk expansion budget like the 5 Points ones.

Bello Velo said...

I think having two crosswalks with signs overhead would help a lot also making the crosswalks look like a real crosswalk would help too. I agree with the lights being timed better . The sad fact is if you are elderly and have to cross there is no way to stop safely in the middle and have a 2nd chance to cross.

I hoped that engineering which went to Louisville would have learned some things but apparently not yet.

Why not have Children at Play signs up also??????

Anonymous said...

Though not at that point on UNiv, I beleive the city spent $3-5 MILLION on an overhead crosswalk (near UAH), to ensure pedestrians could cross. How much as the city spent to prevent accidents involving cyclists? 10% ? NOPE. Were there previous deaths at the location where the multi-million crosswalk was built. Not to my knowledge. It was about safety & convenience. How many people use it? Now tell me again how much the city has spent (not Bill Kling) on cycling measures this year? What is the budget for cycling for next year? How many cyclists have to die to warrant a million dollars? All of them you say? Ahh, then no measures will be needed. A perfect plan.

Tyler said...

What about using camera's like they use to manage lights and Intersections they could be set up to hold the crossing light as long as a person is occupying the cross walk. they already do this for cars to manage traffic why not use this technology to keep people safe.

clintpatty said...

Good idea Tyler.

and re anonymous:
That does not count. That crosswalk was built for the school. It got federal funding for that project because of the school.

citizenaye said...

Would you please provide a link or more info on the fed dollars for that crosswalk? I remember the great controversy and criticism.

Do you know more about the road crosswalk on Madison Street by HSV Hospital? As I(recall, after a pedestrian was killed (albeit sadly; however, crossing illegally in a known dangerous spot)that the City acting swiftly, building a safer crosswalk & recently adding another traffic light (aren't they $50K?) at the chevron station. This is a much jay-walked street and it need need improvements, but my point is that the city acts quickly upon the death of A pedestrian but NOT with multiple cyclists' death. Perhaps, the feds don't pay for dead cyclists. is that is? Please explain what seems to be a gross inequity.

Tyler said...

I think the problem here is we really need to hold the city accountable for the safety of people in a low income area. They don't hesitate to place in infrastructure for higher income areas and big box retail centers and and mega shopping complexes.

Where I live in South Huntsville it not even safe to cross Mt. Gap road to get to Walgreens to buy the things I need. And I am not about to dive my car there because it is less than a half a mile from where I live which would be silly. Yes I could drive to the store in a steel box, but I want the option to walk or ride a bicycle safely regardless of what part of the city I am in or how much money the people who live there have.

clintpatty said...

citizenaye remind me in May and I'll check on this. Or you can. But I'm not going to the library or city hall or wherever I'm going to need to go to find this before the semester is over. The city council didn't approve it before they got additional state funding.

They put up a nice new crosswalk and light on Franklin too recently. The light is triggered by cyclists. And I'm not going to bitch about pedestrians getting stuff built for them. It supports less personal automobile transportation. Even if that is an area with a bunch of rich people walking which is unusual for Huntsville. I see more people using the crosswalk than jaywalking there. I'm not saying that's always the situation, though. But I think facilities for pedestrians crossing the street are much quicker and easier to construct than facilities for cyclists along or separate from many streets.

Anonymous said...

where on Franklin is this light, I haven't seen it.

Anonymous said...

so rich people should not have the same facilities as poor people according to some of these comments. yet the poor aren't paying for most services, the rich are. so why should the poor get first dibs? Oh, to reward them for being poor-- whether by choice or horrible circumstance. did you notice than many of Council Court's residents protested moving to new govt housing because they had lived there for 4-5 generations! The projects is theirs-- poverty inheritance rights. They protested more than the Chaffee residents, where they were going, rather ironic. Yep, being poor now means getting freebies, not a hand-up like it should. A hand-up is NOT a permanent hand-out.

Anonymous said...

Obvious troll is, again, glaringly obvious.

Bello Velo said...

Very sad, the "reality" is that there are no real crosswalks at this location. the rich as you put it have these facilities. Poverty is also a cycle and until you are educated to all these factors you will remain ignorant.

Rent for a 2 bedroom in public housing is around 360.00 per month. same bricks and wood as used in my apartment, just a different neighborhood. Maybe if you lived in a neighborhood for "generations" you may feel like that it is your home.

Also helping other people get across the street safely is a fucking right not a hand out.

Maybe they should have waited for a hand out like an inheritance or corporate welfare. Better yet maybe we should organize them and come to your gated community.

clintpatty said...

Because it's government not private roads.

Anonymous said...

Methinks our resident troll is of the inheritance lot. Handouts are the same, be it mummy n daddy or teh eeebil big gub'ment.

the milkman said...

IT is obviously someone who doesn't walk around anywhere or bike regularly, or THINK for that matter. Yes, I'm talking to YOU. Do you feel lucky? Well do ya, punk?

Anonymous said...

Alabama's been called an economic plantation: for example, trees cover more than 70 percent of the state, and forestry is Alabama's leading industry. Yet timber and paper companies contribute less than 2 percent of all property tax revenues.

Anonymous said...

The tax system in Alabama is arguably the most troubled in the United States and relates directly to the high poverty level in the state. The income and sales taxes place a disproportionate, heavy burden on low-income citizens, which is combined with significant tax advantages for wealthy Alabamians on income and property taxes. Alabama taxes low-income families in such a way that it is very difficult for them to improve their economic status. While the income tax structure was updated in Alabama in 2006 (at that time, families of four with annual incomes of $4600 paid state income tax), the state still begins to tax families earning far less ($12,600) than the federal poverty rate ($19,600). Sales tax is also particularly troublesome in Alabama. As a general rule, sales tax on goods affects lower-income citizens at a greater percentage of their income than wealthier citizens, especially the tax on necessary goods like groceries. In 2002, the lowest 20 % of earners paid 10.6% of their income to the state in taxes, while the wealthiest 1% paid barely 4%. This disparity is largely attributed to sales tax. Further, Alabama fails to collect sufficient revenue and revenue is subject to market fluctuations because of the reliance on sales and income taxes. The implications of such a tax system are far-reaching and detrimental, (affecting the quality of public education, for instance). Reform is needed for improvement and progress. If Alabama does not allow low-income citizens to help themselves, it will be very difficult for them to escape their circumstances and improve their economic position.

Anonymous said...

Cut and paste troll has escalated to SPAM troll.

I hear they're tasty when grilled.