Drivers will have to adapt to new crosswalks on College Avenue

3 years 2 months 3 days ago Friday, August 21 2015 Aug 21, 2015 Friday, August 21, 2015 5:50:00 AM CDT August 21, 2015 in News
By: Samantha Kummerer, KOMU 8 Reporter
loading

COLUMBIA - On Friday, the activation of new non-traditional crosswalks on College Avenue will force drivers to make some adjustments. 

The construction of a new median and mid-block crossings on the street, that started in June is scheduled to be completed on Friday.

With the hopes of increasing pedestrian safety and decreasing motorist's worry, the city decided to add two non-traditional mid-block crossings on the street. 

The new "High-Intensity Activated WalKs" or HAWK beacons are the first in Columbia. 

Columbia Public Works spokesman Steven Sapp said the HAWK beacons are used at dozens of locations throughout Missouri and were recommended by MoDOT.

Sapp said they are really becoming the signal of choice throughout the nation for mid-block crossings. 

The Federal Highway Administration reported that mid-block crossings locations account for 70 percent of pedestrian deaths and the use of HAWK beacons have shown a 69 percent decrease in pedestrian crashes. 

The city approved the addition of HAWK beacons to the road in 2014 after a report indicated that around 19,000 cars drive on College Avenue a day with 2,500 pedestrians crossing at the mid-blocks. 

Pedestrians using the HAWK beacons will still see the same signals as a normal crosswalk. Sapp said the difference will be in what the motorists see. 

When the lights are not on drivers can continue like normal. When a pedestrian pushes the crosswalk button, yellow flashing lights will indicate that drivers should prepare to stop. Two solid red lights will signal to cars to come to a complete stop and only proceed again when the red lights are flashing and no pedestrian is present. 

Sapp said the signs around the HAWK beacons make it clear to drivers what each light means. Since the HAWK beacons are new the city has been publishing instructions through social media. 

Sapp said these designated crossing points will add a lot of safety to the street and stop pedestrians from crossing in hundreds of different places all day long. 

"Most pedestrians don't take the time to be mindful of walking and the crosswalk areas and it does make it challenging for those who are driving, maybe to come to a complete stop or they're surprised by people who just step out in the middle of roads like outside of pedestrian cited areas," Columbia resident Shajuanda Campbell said. 

She said she has experienced the challenge of pedestrians crossing at College Avenue and hopes that the mid-block crosswalks stops the confusion but is concerned about how they work. 

Columbia resident James Hopfenblatt said he has used the crosswalk on that street before and has felt unsafe during rush hour. 

"I have almost been run over, even when crossing on crosswalks," Hopfenblatt said.

Hopfenblatt said he really likes the idea of the flashing lights.

"Some of them force vehicles to stop where they typically wouldn't and the lights really help make them realize there's a pedestrian attempting to cross and it saves time so that vehicles don't stop at every crosswalk when there's no one to stop for," Hopfenblatt said. 

Fourth Ward Councilman and co-chair of the city's Pedestrian Safety Task Force Ian Thomas said the previous swarming of pedestrians across roads was a hazard for drivers and walkers. 

Thomas the city may consider installing the HAWK beacons at different locations throughout Columbia. 

Thomas said Providence Road may be one of the roads to look at and he would like to see a crosswalk about every half mile or so. 

Drivers on College Avenue should also be aware that left turns onto Rosemary Lane and Wilson Avenue will not be possible any longer. 

Sapp said drivers will have to get use to a different traffic flow, but it will be more of an adjustment than a traffic problem. 

The total cost for the project was around $824,000 and was funded through a MoDOT grant and funds from the University of Missouri and the city. 

Related Stories

More News

Grid
List
COLUMBIA - Following ground-breaking MU research that successfully genetically edits pigs to be virus-resistant to a deadly disease, one Fulton... More >>
3 hours ago Tuesday, October 23 2018 Oct 23, 2018 Tuesday, October 23, 2018 7:21:00 PM CDT October 23, 2018 in News
JEFFERSON CITY - John Kalina, 63, was a First Student bus driver whose absence has made a whole community come... More >>
4 hours ago Tuesday, October 23 2018 Oct 23, 2018 Tuesday, October 23, 2018 6:19:00 PM CDT October 23, 2018 in News
MOBERLY - City council and community members met with research firm Destination Services to survey residents on what it would... More >>
6 hours ago Tuesday, October 23 2018 Oct 23, 2018 Tuesday, October 23, 2018 3:58:00 PM CDT October 23, 2018 in News
FULTON – A Southern Boone High School assistant football coach has turned himself in for enticement of a minor, according... More >>
6 hours ago Tuesday, October 23 2018 Oct 23, 2018 Tuesday, October 23, 2018 3:55:00 PM CDT October 23, 2018 in News
FULTON - The nurse hired to look after Carl DeBrodie, a disabled man who was found encased in concrete... More >>
7 hours ago Tuesday, October 23 2018 Oct 23, 2018 Tuesday, October 23, 2018 2:41:00 PM CDT October 23, 2018 in Continuous News
WASHINGTON, D.C. - A complaint filed Tuesday with the Federal Election Commission accused Josh Hawley's Senate campaign and the National... More >>
7 hours ago Tuesday, October 23 2018 Oct 23, 2018 Tuesday, October 23, 2018 2:27:00 PM CDT October 23, 2018 in News
JEFFERSON CITY - Environmental activist groups Sierra Club and Earth Justice are in court this week saying electric utility Ameren... More >>
8 hours ago Tuesday, October 23 2018 Oct 23, 2018 Tuesday, October 23, 2018 2:21:00 PM CDT October 23, 2018 in News
COLE COUNTY - A Cole County couple faces felony child abuse and endangering the welfare of a child charges Tuesday... More >>
8 hours ago Tuesday, October 23 2018 Oct 23, 2018 Tuesday, October 23, 2018 1:44:00 PM CDT October 23, 2018 in News
COLUMBIA - A Cole County circuit judge ruled Tuesday the state's Voter ID law applies to both state and county... More >>
8 hours ago Tuesday, October 23 2018 Oct 23, 2018 Tuesday, October 23, 2018 1:24:00 PM CDT October 23, 2018 in News
MACON - A Macon Police Officer was knocked unconscious while approaching a suspect Monday night. According to a news... More >>
9 hours ago Tuesday, October 23 2018 Oct 23, 2018 Tuesday, October 23, 2018 1:03:00 PM CDT October 23, 2018 in News
FULTON - The Fulton Police Department WAS actively trying to identify a suspect Tuesday who used counterfeit $100 bills at... More >>
9 hours ago Tuesday, October 23 2018 Oct 23, 2018 Tuesday, October 23, 2018 12:46:00 PM CDT October 23, 2018 in News
COLUMBIA - The man who killed a teacher after crashing into a Harrisburg school bus is appealing his 22 year... More >>
10 hours ago Tuesday, October 23 2018 Oct 23, 2018 Tuesday, October 23, 2018 12:19:00 PM CDT October 23, 2018 in News
(CNN) -- One company is doubling the shelf-life of avocados, citrus and other produce by taking a chemical-free cue from... More >>
10 hours ago Tuesday, October 23 2018 Oct 23, 2018 Tuesday, October 23, 2018 11:39:46 AM CDT October 23, 2018 in News
COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. (AP) — The Air Force says a Missouri-based B2 stealth bomber landed in Colorado Springs after an... More >>
11 hours ago Tuesday, October 23 2018 Oct 23, 2018 Tuesday, October 23, 2018 10:34:00 AM CDT October 23, 2018 in News
COLUMBIA - Mediacom Communications confirmed to KOMU 8 there are outages affecting all services across Columbia. A Mediacom operator... More >>
12 hours ago Tuesday, October 23 2018 Oct 23, 2018 Tuesday, October 23, 2018 10:02:00 AM CDT October 23, 2018 in News
(CNN) -- A new startup called Tap has a bold ambition: convince people to stop buying plastic bottles of water.... More >>
12 hours ago Tuesday, October 23 2018 Oct 23, 2018 Tuesday, October 23, 2018 9:51:12 AM CDT October 23, 2018 in News
BOONVILLE - Six soccer fields, five turf fields and one natural grass championship field are on the verge of completion... More >>
13 hours ago Tuesday, October 23 2018 Oct 23, 2018 Tuesday, October 23, 2018 8:55:00 AM CDT October 23, 2018 in News
INDEPENDENCE (AP) — The mother of an Independence man who was fatally shot by police last year is suing the... More >>
14 hours ago Tuesday, October 23 2018 Oct 23, 2018 Tuesday, October 23, 2018 8:13:59 AM CDT October 23, 2018 in News
Columbia, MO
Broken Clouds 45°
11pm 44°
12am 43°
1am 42°
2am 41°