All eight crosswalks along Farrell Street between Shelburne Road and Swift Street in South Burlington have undergone an extreme makeover. Each of them has been transformed into an "enhanced crosswalk" with new signage and flashing lights that alert drivers to folks trying to cross the street.
"The hope is that those blinking lights will draw the attention of the motorist and enhancing their awareness of both the crosswalk and the presence of a pedestrian," said Justin Rabidoux of South Burlington Public Works.
The new equipment is part of a larger effort across the city that will make identical improvements at 36 existing crosswalks. Each device costs about $5,000 and is being paid for with a federal highway grant targeted at improving public safety.
"In order to make drivers more aware we needed to do something a little extra to enhance pedestrian safety," Rabidoux said.
South Burlington City Councilor Paul Engels is a regular along Farrell Street. He says the improved crossings have been great in a neighborhood packed with residential units, drivers and shoppers.
"I walk my dog over here and I've been really afraid to walk across the street," Engels said. "Yesterday, I came over with the dog and press the button and car stopped, and I walked across the street. It was great it was really great."
Public works crews hope to have all of the solar-powered units installed this fall.
The new units are slated to be fully functional for 15-20 years.
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