Calls for more safety measures at Crosstown intersection after pedestrian death
CHARLESTON, S.C. (WCSC) - One mother and state Rep. Wendell Gilliard are seeking change as more people are being killed while trying to cross a busy Charleston intersection.
Lindsey Ranz was a student at the College of Charleston when she was struck by a pickup truck while out on an evening jog in January 2014.
She was trying to cross the Crosstown at Coming Street in downtown Charleston at the time of her death.
At least four other pedestrians have lost their lives attempting to cross that intersection, most recently including Belinda Prim, who was hit by a Folly Beach Police cruiser on June 28.
Her mother, Lynnette Ranz, continues to fight for change years later, sharing one possible solution to slow down traffic by lowering the speed limit.
“One of the main problems with Crosstown is tons of traffic it funnels into. You have Highway 17 and Interstate 26, everybody is in a hurry,” Ranz says. “They’re trying to get to where they’re going, and they are not for the most part, especially at 6 p.m. when Lindsay was hit, they are not doing the speed limit.”
The city added more signage to the busy intersection after Lindsey’s death, but with continuing deaths, Lynette says more change needs to be done.
“There’s been so many studies done; the numbers speak louder than any study. They’ve [the studies] been done, they should be over,” Ranz says. “It’s time to change; it’s time to change it because too many people are losing their lives here.”
Gilliard was introduced to Lynnette when she continued to fight for pedestrian safety in the statehouse after Lindsey’s death.
“There’s no question, there’s no doubt, we must have a crosswalk at this intersection,” Gilliard says. “This is what the citizens want, and this is what they should have, because this is dangerous, and you could see for yourself.”
Both say the existing pedestrian bridge is not located where most people need to cross, creating a dangerous situation at the busy intersection.
“Geographically, the pedestrian volume has shifted, and this is where it’s needed,” Gilliard says. “That’s where the volume of traffic has shifted. We have statistics to prove that it should be right where we’re standing at now.”
Gilliard has invited Lynette to speak at the next Charleston Delegation meeting in August about her request for changes.
Even nine years after Lindsey’s death, Lynnette says her fight is far from over.
“I will grieve the rest of my life for the loss of my daughter, and I will fight to keep another person from getting hit here,” Ranz says.
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