Melvin Givens and his mother had just made a trip for ice cream and fruit punch and were crossing Steele Creek Road from their bus stop on Sept. 21.
As his mother watched, Givens, 51, was struck by a car, and later died.
Residents of the Steele Creek Seniors apartment complex, where Givens mother lived, are outraged that his death came before the city took action to make the area safer. In hopes of getting the citys attention, about 30 residents brought their concerns Thursday to a meeting of the Mecklenburg Advocacy Council for People with Disabilities.
Where Steele Creek Road runs in front their apartments near Branch Bend Lane, the speed limit is 50 mph. A bus stop that many seniors use is across the street but there are no crosswalks, warning lights or signs in the area.
People at Thursdays meeting agreed to form a task force to work for safety improvements. The team will include four Steele Creek senior residents and officials from the city transportation department, police and the advocacy council.
Speed limit also an issue
At the meeting, Tracy Van Tassell of the city transportation department said the state is in the process of lowering the speed limit on Steele Creek Road to 45 mph.
Many seniors grumbled at her announcement: They wanted to see a bigger change in the speed limit.
Its a slap in the face, said resident Mary King.
Van Tassell also said the city is aware of the issue because they have discussed a pedestrian median, but its on a list with other projects without funding.
The seniors said that they want more and that theyre afraid to cross the street.
Im too young to die, resident Lila Castillo said as she addressed the crowd. Im only 76. Please help us.
Because she has vertigo and cannot drive, Castillo said she depends on the bus. Should I be confined to my home till I have to be confined to the stone garden? she asked to applause.
Bob Stiles, president of the Steele Creek Seniors tenants association, said hes looking to every outlet possible to get safety improvements in the area.
How do we fix this?
Its going to have to be more than a few old people to say, What do we do now? How do we fix this? he said.
Givens brother, Reginald Dillard, attended Thursdays meeting with his mother. He said he thought the task force was a good step forward.
My question is, what happens now? he said. How many more people have to die before something is being done?
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