CHARLESTON, WV -
Hundreds of people cruise down Kanawha Boulevard everyday, but in a few weeks, cars flying down the road will encounter some road blocks. City officials are eliminating continuous through-lanes to improve safety along the road.
“I think it’s a great idea, because it’s a hectic way to cross the road,” said Michael Bailey, who runs along the Boulevard everyday.
“I see many people dodging traffic and it's just not safe right now,” said Jennifer Barger, a South Charleston resident. “Plus it's hard to see around the sides of some buildings."
Under the new plan, eastbound Boulevard drivers will no longer have continuous green arrows in the right lane. Traffic lights will be placed at the intersections, and pedestrians will be able to push a button before crossing the street.
“There have been near misses on the Boulevard, and there have been people who have had to drag their dogs across the street,” said Mary Jean Davis, a Charleston council member.
Work is already taking place. New light poles and street signs have already been set up at the corner of McFarland Street, Brooks Street, Leon Sullivan Way, and Morris Street. Supporters say they hope the new signals will slow traffic down. Others aren’t as sure.
“The speed limit is 40, but they'll go anywhere from 50 to 60 up through here.," said Davis.
"I would say that's true with every street, not just the Boulevard,” said Skylee Cottrill, “There's always going to be one or two people [going fast], but that doesn't mean you got to ruin it for the rest of us."
The new traffic lights will not be timed and will only be changed if a pedestrian presses a button. City officials hope to have the new system up within a month’s time.
350 Quarrier Street
Charleston, WV 25301
Main (304) 343-1313
Fax (304) 343-6138