Community members worry about pedestrian safety on Freeman Mill Road in Greensboro

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GREENSBORO, N.C. -- A Greensboro man is dead after he was hit by a car on Freeman Mill Road, just feet away from his home Wednesday night.

It's the fourth time in three weeks a car has hit a pedestrian in Greensboro.


Greensboro police say Ben Carter, 54, was crossing Freeman Mill Road just north of West Florida Street around 7:20 p.m. when he was hit by an SUV.

According to police, there have been five accidents involving pedestrians on Freeman Mill Road from Coliseum Boulevard to West McGee Street in the past three years. Three of those accidents happened at the intersection of Florida Street.

Carter crossed the road outside of the crosswalk, but he's not the only one who would avoid intersections on Freeman Mill Road like the one at Florida Street.

"I have to run. I don't even go through the middle, I go across where the median is and go that way," said Cherri Williamson, who lives in the Glenwood neighborhood.

Neighbors like Williamson say the crosswalk signals can be confusing. Instead of automatically indicating that you can walk when the light turns green, it won't happen unless you press the "walk" button. And sometimes, the crosswalk lights don't work at all.

"I think they need to fix it. Fix the lights and fix the intersection," Williamson said.

Glenwood community members say the dangers of crossing and walking on Freeman Mill Road don't stop there and extend up the Lonnie Revels Greenway. Lots of people walk up that part of the road to get to Gate City Boulevard or downtown Greensboro.

"A lot of people don't drive. A lot of people have to get to work. People walk to the store," Williamson said.

But the sidewalks end just past the Smith Homes neighborhood.

"I always did get a little nervous when that sidewalk ran out," said Jasmine McNeill, whose family lives one building over from the man who was killed Wednesday night.

"I want them all down Freeman Mill Road on both sides," Williamson said. "I really do, because people walk both sides."

The city already has new sidewalks planned out for the next several years, and according to city maps of the plans, they don't include any additional sidewalks on Freeman Mill Road.

If the city won't make a change, neighbors say it's up to pedestrians and drivers to make it safer to walk the road.

"As a pedestrian, when the lights are red and green, you should still take that extra two seconds that could save your life," McNeill said.

Police say Carter died at the hospital after he was hit. The driver whose SUV hit Carter stayed after the crash and will not face any charges.