Dangerous Crossing on Tidewater Drive in Norfolk to Receive Senior Upgrade
Tidewater Drive is one of the busiest urban highways in Hampton Roads. Like other highways including Newport News’ Jefferson Avenue and Portsmouth Boulevard in Portsmouth, Tidewater Drive has a bad record for pedestrian accidents.
However, the section of the road in front of the Lakewood Plaza senior living facility is especially treacherous. There have been a number of cases of elderly people being injured and being thrown into the air after being hit while trying to cross the street even though a crosswalk confers rights on pedestrians. Since 2013, on two separate occasions a resident of Lakewood Plaza was killed when trying to cross the street. People are now afraid to let their loved ones attempt the crossing, even if they had been making the journey from Lake Plaza for years.
To combat this terrible trend, officials have devised a way to give this section of Tidewater Drive a senior upgrade, the Virginian-Pilot reported. This upgrade will aim to make the crossing safer for pedestrians by having additional signs and signals that tell the pedestrians when to cross and separate ones to alert oncoming cars that there is a pedestrian making an illegal crossing. City spokeswoman Lori Crouch suggests that motion activated lights could effectively signal to cars that someone has stepped into the crosswalk. Another suggestion is to make the light cycle longer to give those elderly people, whose speed is limited by their use of a wheelchair or a walker, more time to make it across.
This intersection is dangerous for everyone, not just the elderly. This section of Tidewater Drive is busy and motorists often drive too fast. Even if the driver has the right of way, there is no excuse for speeding.
For now, many residents of Lakewood Plaza are too scared to risk crossing the street in front of their home. This is a sad reality, because many of the residents had enjoyed doing their own shopping at stores on the other side of Tidewater Drive. If these upgrades are effective, then this crossing could become the first “senior crossing” in the city. However, as one resident pointed out, “The way it is now, it’s not really safe going out there, especially if you are a slow walker.”
If you have been injured on a road crossing due to the fault of a driver, you should seek medical care and then call the Cooper Hurley Injury Lawyers for a free consultation at 757.455.0077. Drivers have a legal duty to give way to pedestrians on a crosswalk. Every year we help pedestrians who have been injured in Hampton Roads. When it really counts, count on Cooper Hurley.