City moves one step closer to pedestrian bridge on Broad - NBC12 - WWBT - Richmond, VA News On Your Side

City moves one step closer to pedestrian bridge on Broad near I-95

RICHMOND, VA (WWBT) -

City leaders took the first step to build a pedestrian bridge on East Broad street between the I-95 on and off ramps Monday.

Thousands of people have to dodge downtown traffic to get to school and work. Many say they would love to see a pedestrian bridge go up - that way, they can make it to work and class safely.

VCU Medical Center Employee Sherese Evans walks this route several times a week.

"It's dangerous, but we do what we have to do to get to work everyday," said Evans.  

Now the city is doing more to ensure her safety. 

"I think if it helps people's safety, it would definitely be worth it," said Maria Stevens. 

City leaders voted Monday to apply for state funding for a pedestrian bridge. If the grant is approved, the bridge would start on East Broad street near the I-95 onramp, go over the interstate and connect on the other side where people get off I-95.  The project would also include a crosswalk with lights and signs going across Broad street near the I-95 onramp so that people won't have to dodge traffic while crossing broad from the other side - risking their lives on the median.  

"One thing you have to do to insure people feel safe is to actually make the streets safe for alternative modes of transportation including walking and bicycles," said Richmond City Council President Charles Samuels  

Evans says she's seen her share of close calls here.

"All the time - all the time," Evans noted. "Some people just don't stop or just angry. They don't yield to pedestrians like they should." 

Samuels says the entire cost of the project is roughly $300,000. If granted, the city would pay $76,000. Evans says the price is worth her peace of mind. 

"I think it'd be wonderful," Evans added. "It would be a lot safer. Maybe we'd have less patients in there or to take care of." 

City leaders say it could still be months until any decision is made on whether or not the pedestrian bridge will be built. If approved, the city's portion of the money will come from the Capital Improvement fund.

Copyright 2013 WWBT NBC12.  All rights reserved.

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