Neighborhood split on sidewalk after fatal wreck

Neighborhood split on sidewalk after fatal wreck

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by BILL McGINTY / NewsChannel 36 Staff

Bio | Email | Follow: @billwcnc

WCNC.com

Posted on February 24, 2012 at 7:00 PM

CHARLOTTE, N.C. -- A memorial of teddy bears serves as a reminder of what neighbors say they need done.  

Would a sidewalk at the intersection of Tyvola Road and Shady Lane in west Charlotte have prevented a tragedy?

A mom who lost her 1-year-old and 5-year-old sons believes it would have.

“In this community they need sidewalks, speed bumps,” said mother Adrianna Pendergrass. “They need everything like every other neighborhood has.”

A delivery truck hit and killed the boys Wednesday morning at the intersection.  Police charged the truck driver, Dirk Jerome Brown, with two counts of misdemeanor death by a motor vehicle.

Across town in the University Area of northeast Charlotte, neighbors in Autumnwood at the corner of Owen Boulevard and Creekstone Place have a different opinion on the sidewalk planned for their area as part of a Charlotte beautification project.

Some say they don’t want it and they don’t need it.  In fact, their plan is to approach the City of Charlotte with common sense.

“Money is money, what does it matter which pocket it comes out of,” said John Ricciardi.

Ricciardi and some of his neighbors want the city to take the multi-million dollar sidewalk plan and put it where today’s need is, not where a plan formulated 10 years ago says it should go.

But other neighbors say the sidewalks are needed here for safety.

“I have a 2-year-old son.  I want the streets here to be safe for him, too,” said Okan Pala.

At the moment, the city sees it Okan’s way and plans to put in the $2.5 million sidewalk plan right here at the University Area intersection.

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