After a crash involving a pedestrian on Timber Drive and Harth Drive last month, town and county officials are seeking to improve pedestrian and student mobility near Aversboro Elementary.
Garner resident Tammy Hawkins, 53, was filling in as a crossing guard for the elementary school Oct. 16.
With a stop sign in hand, she had stopped traffic soon after 4 p.m. when a speeding minivan crashed into a slowed Volkswagen Jetta.
The Jetta, operated by Kathryn Truelove, 62, of Garner, hit Hawkins, who rolled up on the top of the car briefly before falling off.
The driver of the minivan, Aaron Vincent, 26, of Durham, was charged with failure to reduce speed.
Hawkins suffered from a lacerated liver, road burn, a torn knee joint and a broken ankle in addition to 30 staples up her torso from emergency surgery.
Although one side of Timber Drive has sidewalks, the south side does not. A well-worn path in the grass shows where residents have trekked to Lowes Foods.
The town council Monday night proposed moving forward with construction of a sidewalk to encourage pedestrians to use the crossing lights at Aversboro Road and Timber Drive, according to Town Manager Hardin Watkins.
These would include one pathway from Harth Drive to existing sidewalk at Lowes Food and another along Timber Drive from Stowe Place to Aversboro Road.
Bus stop temporary fix
Wake County quickly responded to the accident by adding a bus stop on Harth Drive so that students no longer have to cross at the intersection.
“Our goal is not to cross any students across Timber,” said Sergeant Michael McIver, a member of the Garner Police Department’s traffic safety team.
He cited Wake County Public School policy that students are required to take a bus to school if no safe crossing locations exist.
As of Monday, no students had crossed the intersection.
Councilman Buck Kennedy added that the bus stop is a temporary fix, since there is no guarantee that students will use the stop and adult pedestrians are also at risk.
Town budget and special projects manager Jamie Ludovic presented budget options at the last town council work session and suggested that timing constraints would not allow the sidewalk to be constructed until spring of 2015.
“We want to respond appropriately, but all we can do is control construction,” Watkins said.
Town staff estimates the cost for both design and construction to be at least $220,000.
The council decided to immediately move forward with design of the sidewalks and will fund the project with the 2013 street and sidewalk bonds.