Crosswalk raises safety concerns

Posted on 01 Feb 2007 at 9:11pm
By David Webb Staff Writer

Oak Lawn resident wants city to upgrade, maintain pedestrian crossing on Cedar Springs Road



Dallas City Councilwoman Angela Hunt says she plans to speed up maintenance on the Cedar Springs crosswalk, work that a city employee said could take 70 days.

An Oak Lawn resident has raised concerns about the safety of the lighted pedestrian crosswalk near Cedar Springs Road and Reagan Street.

Bill Wells said the city is not maintaining the crosswalk. About half of the embedded lights in the crosswalk are now burned out, and the white rubber strips marking it are wearing thin, he said.

The situation is a hazard because drivers may not notice there is a crosswalk with people walking in it, he said.

“It’s not being maintained,” Wells said. “It’s very dangerous. I think one of these days we are going to have someone hit down there and maybe killed.”

The crosswalk was installed in 2004 to improve safety for pedestrians. But Wells said he is concerned the crosswalk is giving pedestrians a false sense of security.

“Sometimes, people are a little inebriated, and they just push the button and walk out there,” Wells said. “Some car is not going to stop. I use it all of the time. I sure don’t want to get hit.”

Wells said he relayed his concerns to City Hall, and he received an e-mail back indicating it could take up to 70 days to resolve the problem.

“I thought it was absurd,” Wells said.

Wells said he received a call from a representative of the city’s transportation department who visited the crosswalk during the day.

“She didn’t know what the concern was,” Wells said. “I said, “‘Well, most of the lights aren’t working.’ She said, “‘Oh.’ They can’t seem to understand. It’s all this nebulous stuff.”

City Councilwoman Angela Hunt said she agrees with Wells’ concerns, and that she plans to speed up the maintenance work.

“To me this is a safety issue,” Hunt said. “Being told it is going to take 70 days to take care of a safety issue is, I think, really unacceptable. I don’t know that I can get it taken care of tomorrow, but I certainly can get that sped up. That’s just crazy.

“I will let our city staff know I would like to see this done as quickly as possible. That’s a high traffic site.”

Wells said he would also like to see the yellow flashing lights on either side of the crosswalk changed to flashing red lights that would require cars to come to a stop before proceeding. He also suggested that the lights be brighter so the pedestrians are better illuminated at night.

Hunt said she would talk to city staff about the possibility of Wells’ suggestions being implemented.

“I can certainly find out if that’s something we can do,” Hunt said. “I don’t know if it is doable.”

E-mail webb@dallasvoice.com

This article appeared in the Dallas Voice print edition February 2, 2007

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