A brilliant idea for pedestrians

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  • Courtesy photo A flashing crosswalk beacon in place on a Coeur d’Alene street.

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  • Courtesy photo A flashing crosswalk beacon in place on a Coeur d’Alene street.

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The city of Coeur d’Alene was awarded $78,000 to place flashing crosswalk signs at seven locations throughout the community.

The pedestrian-activated signs, called Rectangular Rapid Flashing Beacons, are being installed in areas where the city has experienced pedestrian or bicycle vs. vehicle collisions. The flashing beacons will be installed at the following locations:

• 15th Street and Montana Avenue

• 15th Street and Hastings Avenue

• Sherman Avenue and Sixth Street

• Sherman Avenue and 13th Street

• Best Avenue and Ninth Street

• Seventh Street and Foster Avenue

• Fourth Street and Miller Avenue

Federal Highway Administration reports show drivers yield for pedestrians 72 to 96 percent of the time at the flashing crosswalk areas, compared to 0 to 26 percent of the time with just a striped crosswalk.

Federal funding was awarded from the Local Highway Safety Improvement Program and the city will receive and install the devices this summer.

The funding application was put together by Welch Comer Engineers at no cost to the city.

This award comes on the heels of a community crowdfunding campaign in which residents, businesses and other organizations — particularly the Sunrise Rotary and Roger’s Ice Cream & Burgers — helped raise $1,645 for a pair of the flashing crosswalk beacons at Sherman Avenue and 13th Street and increased awareness and interest in this type of safety improvement.

The money raised through crowdfunding will be used for signs and crosswalk striping in conjunction with the crosswalk beacons.

The city is also working in partnership with local Rotary groups to apply for an additional grant for two more rapid-flashing crosswalk beacons to be installed on Harrison Avenue near Bryan Elementary School.

For more information, contact deputy city administrator Sam Taylor at (208) 769-2359.

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