The city of Brainerd is taking steps to improve pedestrian crosswalk safety along College Drive at Central Lakes College.
Safety concerns at the pedestrian crosswalks on the street were brought to light after 76-year-old Verdelle Goble was struck and killed by a pickup Aug. 2 while she was walking across College Drive at Southwest Sixth Street.
On Aug. 7, city and CLC officials met to discuss pedestrian safety improvements that could be implemented when College Drive is reconstructed in 2008 and 2009.
Prior to the reconstruction project, officials designated three items that would have a more immediate impact on safety:
- Relocate the start of the eastbound 30 mph speed zone about 600 feet west of its current location at Southwest Sixth Street. The speed zone would instead begin at Southwest Eighth Street.
- At the request of CLC, place post-mounted solar-powered flashers at the Southwest Sixth Street pedestrian crosswalk at an estimated cost of $510.
- Oversizing the bars of the pedestrian crosswalk at Southwest Sixth Street when the crosswalk is repainted next spring to emphasize the crosswalk.
The Brainerd City Council adopted the three recommendations unanimously.
City Engineer Jeff Hulsether said staffers were concerned about the placement of the flashers because of possible subsequent requests for flashers throughout the city, maintenance and a reduction in effectiveness that he said corresponds directly to the number of flashers by which a motorist drives.
Hulsether said staffers will monitor the success of the safety improvements.
This last spring, city and college officials met to address safety concerns and developed a plan that included the city placing large pedestrian signs along the side of the street and the college placing pedestrian crossing signs in the middle of the street. Police also started increased patrols along the street.
What further safety measures will be implemented with the 2008 reconstruction project have not been determined, but possible plans include sidewalks or bike paths, roundabouts at major intersections along the street and right-in and right-out intersections and stoplights.
In addition to flashing lights at crosswalks, CLC officials have said they would like a tunnel or bridge crossing College Drive to be considered.
MATT ERICKSON may be reached at email@example.com or 855-5857.
Brainerd Dispatch ©2013. All Rights Reserved.