Wilmington moving forward with pedestrian bridge near UNCW

WILMINGTON, NC (WWAY) -- Wilmington City Council is moving forward with plans to try and make crossing a busy street a lot safer.

Concern from UNCW staff has the city looking at giving pedestrians a path over South College Rd. instead of across it.

"You see people waiting in the medians and along the road, and it's like, 'When are they going to cross?'" pedestrian Anna Simmons said.

Tuesday night city council approved funding toward an elevated walkway over College Rd. near the intersection of Randall Parkway. It's one of the busiest intersections on College.

"I think it'd be a lot safer for everyone to use, because it's such a busy intersection; so many cars, so many lanes," pedestrian Courtney McKeon said.

The city's five-year capital improvement plan includes funding for bicycles and pedestrian projects. The purpose is to identify and fund sidewalk, bike lane, and intersection safety improvements.

"I believe a lot of people don't ride their bikes because it's so dangerous for some of them," Jeremy Schwisow said. "If they aren't confident, then it's hard for people to ride if they think they're going to get hit by a car."

The total estimated cost for the project is about $3 million. The city would have to pay $600,000 to match funds from the Wilmington Metropolitan Planning Organization.

"I think it's kind of necessary for the students since they do live off campus also," Ashley McKenzie said. "I think it would be worth it it would be a lot safer for sure."

City council also discussed a walkway next to the Wrightsville Beach Drawbridge, realigning the intersection of Wrightsville and Greenville Avenues and bicycle and pedestrian paths on Park Ave.

The city's support for the project does not guarantee it will happen. The other towns and cities that are part of the WMPO are also competing for money for their own projects.

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This is indeed great news. A Pedestrian Walk-Over has been a topic of discussion for at least 25 years, but there have been road blocks along the way (no pun intended). My sincere hope is that the planning for a new bridge will be in keeping with the natural beauty and simplicity that we find on the school campus, as it becomes a beacon for education and continued safety. Congratulations to UNCW for working toward providing the community with a safer route toward education.

There are 3 areas off of college that the students come from. You would need to put a bridge over college by all 3 of these places (Randall and College) (another bridge by Wachovia and the BP) and (another bridge by Taco Bell for the students that park in that lot). For instance, if the bridge is at Randall and College and the students park behind Taco Bell, do you think that they will walk all the way down towards Randall just so that they can use a bridge over College. No they are going to take the shortest route to get to campus(who can blame them). Why not enforce them crossing College Road at the lights rather than anywhere along College Road. And if you got them to get off their phones and stop texting maybe it wouldn't be such a big problem. Students need to be held accountable for themselves, they know they are taking a risk by not crossing at the crosswalk at the lights. (It is also considered jaywalking, so maybe we could enforce that rule and it would make them cross where they are supposed to.)

I think most students will not climb the steps but walk across the street anyway, and the same with the bike riders. The ones i have seem in charflotte and other cities are not used. i think i am

you left out the "therefore". Or something. There you go thinking again. I think I am. I can almost picture you traveling to Charlotte, setting like a lawn chair on the side of the road and monitoring foot traffic levels, making charts maybe a little hand clicker.