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The installation of lighted crosswalk signs at Tongass Avenue crosswalk near PeaceHealth Ketchikan Medical Center and the intersection of Stedman and Deermount streets is proving to be of real benefit to pedestrians and drivers in those areas — especially during the long nights of winter and inclement weather in general.
Pedestrian safety had already been improved with curb bulbs and high-profile crosswalk signage in several places along the main route through town. Still, it’s easy for preoccupied drivers to be unaware of pedestrians waiting to cross the street or even already making their way across the street.
The flashing lights of the new signs quickly alert drivers that pedestrians are present. Thus alerted, drivers are more likely to scan the crosswalk area for pedestrian activity and adjust their driving accordingly. Even the most conscientious driver can miss the presence of pedestrians in conditions of wind, fog and rain. It’s hard to miss the message conveyed by those flashing lights.
The signs, which the City of Ketchikan installed in late October as part of an approximately $110,000 package of measures to improve pedestrian safety, is a good example of local government working on behalf of its community.
It’s not a huge project, but it’s functional. And it’s functioning well, which is a great service for pedestrians, drivers and the community at large.