Construction Report: DOT asks drivers to be cautious at new high school crosswalk
The school year has officially started and the Department of Transportation warns drivers that more pedestrians are on the streets. Last year, the department installed a different kind of crosswalk near Hutchison and West Valley High School.
The crosswalk, which looks a bit like a light signal intersection, is at University Avenue between Geist and College Road. It replaced the pedestrian overpass and is the only crosswalk of its kind in Fairbanks.
Northern Region Information Officer for DOT, Caitlin Frye, explains why this new installation was chosen.
“When we replaced that pedestrian overpass, we knew we couldn’t replace it with a similar structure,” said Frye. “We looked at what kind of options were available to us as far as crosswalks go, and this is one of the beefiest crosswalks that has some of the best compliance rates in terms of getting drivers to stop for pedestrians.”
The new crosswalk has three phases:
Phase one - Pedestrians will see a solid red hand. Drivers will see a flashing yellow light that turns solid overtime. The light indicates to approaching vehicles that they need to prepare to stop.
Phase two - Pedestrians will receive a walking signal to allow them to start crossing. The solid yellow light will then change to a solid red light. Vehicles need to stop to allow pedestrians to pass.
Phase Three – The pedestrian walk signal will turn into a flashing hand with a number countdown, which indicates how much time there is to cross. Drivers will see the solid red light start to flash. If no one is attempting to cross at this time, cars may pass.
With the crosswalk being new and its proximity to two high schools, DOT is asking drivers to be especially careful in the area.