$120K to upgrade Tahoe crosswalks with pedestrian flashers
January 27, 2014
INCLINE VILLAGE, Nev. — By next summer, the Raley's and Christmas Tree Village crosswalks will have pedestrian-activated flashing lights.
The Nevada Department of Transportation will install four state-of-the-art signs, two apiece at the crosswalks on both sides of Highway 28, said department spokesman Scott Magruder.
The rectangular beacons are fairly new to Nevada, he said, and only a few have been erected, including on Kietzke Lane in Reno.
"They're really effective … when a pedestrian hits the button, you can tell," Magruder said Wednesday. "It's almost like a strobe light, they really grab your attention."
The project is estimated to cost $120,000, coming from state and federal funds. The price also covers construction of an overhead street light at each crosswalk, Magruder said.
As for the flashers, they'll be powered by an underground electric source, as opposed to solar energy, Magruder said.
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Design will take place later this year, and after permits are obtained from Washoe County and the Tahoe Regional Planning Agency, a contract will be awarded.
While work could happen this building season, the project is scheduled to be completed by summer 2015.
"This is good news from a safety standpoint," Magruder said.
The news comes more than two years after Incline residents Robert C. Mathis and Linda Mathis died when they were hit by a vehicle near the unlit crosswalk in front of Raley's, east of Village Boulevard.
According to previous reports, on June 2012, after a road safety audit, NDOT recommended safety improvements to the crosswalk and the one by Christmas Tree, west of Village. Plans also are to move that crosswalk slightly so it's closer to a nearby Tahoe Area Regional Transit bus stop.
The department secured the timetable and funding this week, Magruder said. Staff was working Wednesday on a letter of notice to regional agencies, including the Incline Village General Improvement District.
Once the project is complete, the town's three main crosswalks on 28 will have pedestrian-controlled flashers.
Erected in 2003, the light at the Northwood/Southwood intersection near the Skate Park — which is a less-modern version than what's coming next summer — cost roughly $113,000, with 25 percent donated by the Incline community.
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