Durham project aims to plug gaps in city's sidewalk network

DURHAM, N.C. (WNCN) - More sidewalks are coming to Durham. Crews will be working for the next few months to make areas safer for pedestrians.

The work will address gaps, where sections of road with sidewalks are separated by sections of road without sidewalks.

"We have sidewalks that cut off at some points, and I feel that those need to be filled in," said Jarrel Turrentine.

He walks in Durham and sometimes finds himself walking in the street when a sidewalk ends. He says it can be dangerous at times.

"People stepping in the way of traffic, someone could get hit," he said.

Police say last year a man was hit and killed by a car while crossing the street on Fayetteville Street. That was in an area where the sidewalk ended.

"These are small gaps but needed," said Bryan Poole, transportation planner for the City of Durham. "They are all throughout the city. Some connect trails, some connect to schools, but really making some critical connections."

Starting Monday, crews will be working to fill the gaps of sidewalks in eight locations.

Those include Cook Road near Southwest Elementary, Fayetteville Street, Green Street, Gregson Street, Juliette Drive, Miami Boulevard, Pickett Road, and Enterprise Street.

The goal is to make these areas safer.

"We obviously understand the more people are wanting to bike and walk in the city of Durham, so this just shows that the city is really invested," said Poole.

Poole says this $400,000 project is part of a bigger goal to make Durham a more pedestrian-friendly city.

Turrentine believes more should be done.

"Yes, it should be more pedestrian friendly because I see the city growing more and more each day. We're having new businesses here, restaurants, or salons in different places and you want people to feel safe coming to those places and going from those places," he said.

Poole says crews have a contract to finish the sidewalks within 90 days. He says traffic should not be impacted.


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