Wedington Interchange Update Will Include Safety Improvements

FAYETTEVILLE (KFSM) -- The recent death of a woman who was hit by a car on Wedington Drive is highlighting the need for safety improvements in the area.

Police said the woman, Pamela Wilson, was crossing the intersection near Steamboat Drive and was not using a crosswalk.

Benjamin Lawrence, a man who frequents the area, said Wedington can be dangerous for walkers, especially those who are from out of town.

"One of the bus stops for the Razorback buses is right in between the block," Lawrence said. "A lot of people come out from the restaurants and cross one of those streets, but there's not really a crosswalk."

A short distance up the road, at the intersection with Shiloh Drive, there is a crosswalk with signage in place to notify people that they can safely cross the road.

Lawrence said more needs to be done along other areas of the road, especially around the entrances of apartment complexes.

"There's the lights that have their own little push button, so when you come up to the road, you can push the button and it stops the traffic and everything," said Lawrence, referencing a pedestrian beacon crosswalk. "Those would help out a lot."

It's unclear what safety changes are in the works from the Arkansas State Highway and Transportation Department, but spokesman Danny Straessle said designs will be released in 2017. Public meetings will also be held to give residents in the area a better understanding of the work that will be done, Straessle said.

Fayetteville resident, John White, said he hopes something changes for the sake of both drivers and walkers.

"A lot of times at night it's hard to see them. When you drive up and down this stretch especially here next to this gas station," White said. "There's really no crosswalk and people just run across the street and you have to keep your eyes open."