Vinton leaders get grant to improve intersection where teen was hit, injured

Local News

Plans are underway to improve an intersection in Vinton where a teen was hit while crossing the road Tuesday.

The town has been awarded the grant and V-DOT crews have already started to design the improvements for the intersection on Washington Avenue and Pollard Street.

Even though a teenager was hurt, people who use the intersection on a regular basis say making it safer is better late than never.

“It’s horrible man just trying to cross the street,” said Christian Lawson who uses the intersection almost every day.

Lawson says he wasn’t surprised when he heard about the crash Tuesday evening.

“Stuff like that happens here. It’s a dangerous intersection. Not just here, but all the intersections up this entire street,” Lawson said.

Kim Draper agrees. She works at a gas station near the intersection and she’s seen first hand how some people struggle to cross.

“Cause it is pretty dangerous. And the way people speed up and down this road. Cause I mean, they fly up this road and down it,” said Draper.

Thanks to a $121,000 grant from V-DOT, the town’s principal planner Nathan McClung says it will soon be easier for people to walk through. 

“My personal hope is that traffic and crashes related to pedestrians and cyclists to go down to zero. We hate to see this happen even once like it did yesterday.”

The money will go towards adding things like countdown signals, high visibility crosswalk paint, curb ramps and overall sidewalk improvements.

“The improvements to this intersection are incredibly important to making Vinton a more walkable place, especially with a lot of the economic development projects occurring downtown,” said McClung.

“We want to keep our pedestrians safe in town. And we want people to feel safe when they walk around the town of Vinton.” 

McClung says they will continue to apply for grants to improve crosswalks and make the town more walkable. 

The work is something people are glad to hear.

“It’s a good thing to know. I want it to be a lot safer. And I don’t want to hear about kids getting hit by trucks or buses or anything like that. Cause that’s sad,” said Lawson.

The town was also awarded $99,000 to improve the intersection of Hardy Road and Vinyard Road. 

The projects are expected to be finished by VDOT in December 2019.

According to Vinton police witnesses say the delivery driver who struck the teen is not at fault for the crash. Witnesses told officers the teen ran out in front of the truck.

Officials with UPS released this statement:

Safety is UPS’s number one priority. Our drivers are trained to be aware of their surroundings at all times and to be among the safest drivers on the road.

We are working with authorities to investigate the situation. We’ll defer comment to the responding authorities as part of their investigation.

Copyright 2019 Nexstar Broadcasting, Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

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