Crosswalk Confusion

Crosswalk Confusion
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The city of Pittsburg is adding a new crosswalk by the middle school that features an alternative lighting system. There’s already one in front of the university. Problem is.. some drivers are ignoring it.. or don’t understand it.

“There’s been multiple times where if I hadn’t been paying attention there would have been a really bad accident with me or somebody with me.”

Actually, it happens a lot at the crosswalk on Broadway just in front of Pittsburg State University, according to student Jacob Williams.

“I know there’s signs and stuff, but half the time I don’t feel like people pay any kind of close attention to them,” Williams said.

It’s something the city’s public works director, Cameron Alden, has noticed and heard complaints about. The crosswalk is called a HAWKS beacon; or high-intensity activated crosswalk. It’s not just a red, yellow, green signal like a typical traffic light.

“It’ll be flashing yellow to give folks caution that someone’s ready to enter the crosswalk,” Alden said. “Then it’ll be solid red for a period of time as folks move through there. Then the flashing red. Then it turns itself off.”

While some are ignoring the lights altogether, some more cautious drivers are even delaying traffic.

“When the light turns flashing red it’s pretty much the same as a stop sign,” Alden said. “If there’s no one on the crosswalk in front of you, you can proceed through the crosswalk with caution.”

The city is already constructing a new crosswalk on Broadway, just south of the middle school, and is evaluating an additional crosswalk on rouse.

“There’s a fair bit of pedestrian traffic that crosses there at the rec center and the apartment complexes, so we’re investigating if it’d be appropriate to have one there as well,” Alden said.

And it should help keep bikers, walkers, and runners safe.. as long as drivers know when to stop.

The city hopes to have the crosswalk by the middle school finished by the end of the year.