Columbia, SC (WLTX) -- The City of Columbia is making safety changes to some areas in the Five Points district of Columbia.
Last month, 67-year-old George Jackson was hit and killed by a dump truck while crossing the street in his motorized wheelchair at the intersection of Greene and Harden Street. The driver of the truck, 66-year-old William Crutchfield, has been charged with reckless homicide.
Police say Crutchfield failed to stop prior to the 'stop bar' at the intersection..and failed to yield to the pedestrian.
People who frequent the area the most, like student Stephen Smith, want to see the area stay safe.
"Everybody needs to be more aware," said Smith.
The City of Columbia is attempting to make it safer for those either on foot or behind the wheel.
"What we have been doing is improving the crosswalks, making them more visible in Five Points."
City of Columbia traffic engineer Dave Brewer says that specific red lights will see new "no turn on red" signs in addition to revamped cross walks.
"When a vehicle is going down harden street, the type of crosswalks we are putting in are more visible because there is more white. They are a ladder type of crosswalk rather than the two lines going across the road," said Brewer.
The cross walks will not be moved back from the stop lights because they have to stay in line with sidewalks for handicapped pedestrians, but, they will be durable.
"Far more expensive than paint, but it lasts a lot longer than paint."
But are new signs and crosswalks enough to protect pedestrians and drivers in five points? We asked Five Points Association Director Meritt McHaffie.
"My answer would be, whatever works. And right now we are just not sure what will work the best," said McHaffie.
The Five Points Association requested the city to make the changes for pedestrian safety. While there could be new safety features in the future, McHaffie says there's one change you can count on not happening.
"Nobody in this area is in favor of having the police shut down the streets in the middle of nights or the evenings to allow the pedestrians to hang out in the street. We just don't think it's a good idea," said McHaffie.
While the Five Points Association and the city continue to work to protect its citizens, students like Smith don't want to see any more accidents.
"I would love to see things change. Because I hate that I work down here and people wouldn't feel safe coming down here because somebody got hit," said Smith.
In light of the accidents, we asked the Columbia Police Department if they have increased patrols or are using more speed monitoring devices.
Spokesperson Jennifer Timmons told us, "There is nothing new that we don't already do. We have speeding complaints all over Harden. We patrol the entire city."