According to the Governor’s Highway Safety Association, over 6-thousand pedestrians were struck and killed last year by vehicles.
PJ Walker explains how city officials in one North Dakota city are taking steps to make sure this doesn’t happen in their city.
Monday night city council members voted to move ahead with a project costing over 100,000 dollars.
“It’s a larger project than what people think. It’s not just a cross walk project. We are going to move the poles closer to the intersection and then concentrate the pedestrians going east and west across,” says Lance Meyer, City Engineer.
3rd Street and Burdick is the intersection he’s referring to. The city engineer requested that the council give them more time to lock in a bid that was closer to the budgeted amount.
“We wanted to have the conversation with council and say if you are OK with waiting some time, our department can look at programming some projects over the next couple of years to do this. If the priority was we wanted it done right now, then our best bet was to take that bid,” says Lance Meyer, City Engineer.
The bid came in 60,000 over the initial budget, but some council members said that a person’s life doesn’t have a price and One frequent user of the intersection agrees.
“What we use the crosswalk for is mostly the cafeteria at the old St. Joes, down in the basements. So we usually go there sometimes for breakfast a lot of times for lunch. Sometimes if we do have medical appointments, it’s really quick. It’s right there,” says Renee Dufner
Working in the courthouse for over 20 years, Renee Dufner says she’s had some close calls at that very crossing.
“As we’re going through the cross walk, it’s usually the people turning. I don’t know if they just aren’t paying attention or they just don’t see us standing on the corner, and yes I have had several near misses myself,” says Renee Dufner
With a new push button system for pedestrians, new flashing beacons, and enhanced striping, Dufner says she’s glad the city is making this a priority.
“I actually really appreciate that because if you were to get hit by someone, even if they were going slow just turning. I mean that is a big thing that can happen to someone so no, that puts a lot of my thoughts and fears at rest,” Renee Dufner.
Meyer says the project will also include some upgrades to the crosswalk connected to the Roosevelt Park Zoo. The project is expected to start around Spring 2020. If the council decided to wait to find a lower bid, it could have been another 2 to 3 years before it got off the ground.