Crosswalks to be reinstalled

After conducting a street survey in August and September, 15th Street will soon see crosswalks reinstalled after a 4-month hiatus.

The six crosswalks that were located along 15th Street were paved over during the summer and not repainted after the roadwork was completed.

Ron Allbritten, street superintendent of Murray, said contrary to popular belief the presence of crosswalk markings alone are insufficient to promote pedestrian safety.

“In fact, often the presence of a marked crosswalk may be less safe than an unmarked location,” Allbritten said.

This is especially true in relation to mid-block crosswalks such as those that were on 15th Street.

Screen shot 2013-11-07 at 11.06.12 PMHe said engineering studies are required prior to the installation of crosswalks to ensure the placement is the safest for drivers and pedestrians.

The recommended actions are as follows:

• Combine former crosswalks one and two by creating a new crosswalk between the past locations.

•Install pedestrian crossing and pedestrian crossing signs.

• Install American Disability Act compliant ramps on both sides of the street and re-establish former crosswalks three and four with sidewalk bump-outs on the west side to promote pedestrian visibility and shorten crossing distance.

• Install crosswalk awareness sign at crosswalk four and evaluate crosswalk three for crosswalk awareness signage.

•Install ADA compliant ramps on both sides of the street.

Allbritten said the crosswalks should cross at a 90-degree angle to the street to reduce the time and distance traveled by the pedestrian while in the street.

Allbritten forwarded the recommendations to the city of Murray’s planning and engineering department for the creation of design and construction drawings and the installation of recommended improvements.

Peyton Mastera, projects administrator for the city of Murray, told Allbritten the drawings are near completion and he hopes to let out a contract for construction by December.

“In addition to making the necessary improvement for the crosswalks, other sidewalk improvements within the area will also be included in this project,” Allbritten said.

“We have contracted a traffic-marking contractor to have this work performed in addition to other traffic marking needs within the city.”

Allbritten said he hopes to have the traffic markings completed by the end of next week, weather permitting.

“The safety of our traveling public – whether pedestrian, bicyclist or motorists – is of great importance to the city and especially within my department,” Allbritten said.

“In conjunction with our normal maintenance activities, we are diligently working to upgrade and comply with current standards and recommended practice with regard to the city’s transportation networks.”

 

Story by Meghann Anderson, News Editor