[image-1]Following the death of another pedestrian on the Septima Clark Parkway at Coming Street, Rep. Wendell Gilliard continues to call for a swift solution to the area’s traffic problems before more lives are lost.
According to the Charleston Police Department, an unnamed victim was involved in a fatal hit-and-run Monday evening around 7:30 p.m. in the northbound lane of the Crosstown at Coming Street. The victim later died after being transported to MUSC for medical treatment. Authorities are currently searching for the dark-colored full-size sedan that likely has front-end damage. Sadly, this isn’t the first such incident to occur at the Coming Street crossing.
In 2012, Hannah-Rose Elledge, a 21-year-old College of Charleston student, and a friend were struck by a Jeep Cherokee. Elledge was dragged for more than 100 feet, costing the student her life. In 2012, another young college student by the name of Lindsey Taylor Ranz died from injuries sustained after being hit by a truck while crossing the Septima P. Clark Parkway at Coming Street. The deaths of both Elledge and Ranz were mentioned in a joint resolution introduced in the House by Rep. Gilliard at the start of 2016 in hopes that the state’s General Assembly would direct the Department of Transportation to take immediate action and construct a pedestrian overpass at the intersection of the Crosstown and Coming Street.
According to Gilliard’s unsuccessful resolution, a safety and feasibility study conducted in 2015 found that constructing a new pedestrian overpass at the parkway’s intersection with Coming Street is not only feasible, it is also the safest way for pedestrians to traverse the intersection. And while city officials have placed increase signage to guide pedestrians at the dangerous intersection, Gilliard feels that more should be done to ensure the safety of citizens. The state representative says he plans on reaching out to members of Charleston County Council to motivate their committees to allocate local funding, while he and state Sen. Larry Grooms will send a joint letter to the DOT to request the money needed for the project.
“If you have state and county working together, that’s total financial commitment,” says Gilliard. “We need to move and move quickly on this.”