Improvements coming to Floyd intersection, crosswalks after pedestrian death

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FLOYD, Va. (WDBJ7) Improvements are coming to Floyd County's only stoplight after a woman died there crossing the street.

The man who hit her was just charged with involuntary manslaughter.

Pedestrian safety in the Town of Floyd has been an issue for decades where tractor trailers share the road with farm tractors and loitering is encouraged. There's a problem elected leaders say is good.

"Over the course of the last 10 years to 15 years Floyd has really gotten on the map," said Linda DeVito Kuchenbuch, a Floyd County Board of Supervisors member.

"We're trying to grow it and grow it in the right way and safety of course is becoming more and more of an issue," said Floyd Mayor Will Griffin.

That means more people in town. Especially for events like Floydfest that starts next week and on Friday nights when jam sessions flood out of The Floyd Country Store and onto the sidewalks and streets.

"The alcoves where the musicians play the renovations to the park are all steps in the right direction to make sure there's space for people to be here, enjoy the music and also be safe," said Dylan Locke, the owner of The Floyd Country Store.

Town leaders are encouraging those jam sessions to pour over into a park, right beside the street downtown, to reduce those crowded sidewalks.

After a woman was killed last December walking across the street and other close calls, local government and the Virginia Department of Transportation are working on a fix.

"Four way stops, maybe timed amounts for people to cross, have the ability to possibly even cross diagonally in the intersection," Griffin said.

Another idea includes LED lights in crosswalks. Leaders say VDOT workers studied car and foot traffic to create these proposals.

"In the end that intersection will be much improved, will look different and will be much more user friendly," DeVito Kuchenbuch said.

She's encouraging people to share their concerns or praises about the proposals at up coming board meetings.

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