Begins Fixing Broken Crosswalks
By Olin Ericksen
March 8 -- Five weeks after The Lookout reported that 13
of the city’s 15 flashing crosswalks don’t work, transportation
officials said most of the systems should be fixed, at least temporarily, this
Crews for Econolite -- which installed nine crosswalk systems that use in-pavement
flashers -- were replacing flashing reflectors Wednesday at the crosswalk at
Ocean Park Boulevard and 16th Street, which is close to several schools.
|Crews bigan replacing the crosswalk flashers
in Ocean Park. (Photos by Olin Ericksen)
While Econolite crews are expected to finish work in the next few weeks, the
City is still awaiting replacement systems for the remaining six crosswalks
installed by Liteguard, transportation officials said.
"We'll repair the ones we have and continue to monitor the traffic controls
in the City," said Lucy Dyke, the City's Transportation Department manager.
The flashers -- referred to as safety enhancements by City officials -- often
break because they don’t settle well in the asphalt roadways, Dyke said.
The City is considering using a different installation technique and embedding
the flashers in concrete, instead of asphalt, which could help the systems last
longer, but are likely more expensive, Dyke said.
The systems -- which some residents believe inspire a false sense of security
-- have already cost the City tens of thousands of dollars in repairs since
they were first installed in the late 1990s.
City officials hope to scrap the old systems.
"We are still not satisfied with the systems and are looking to replace
all of them in the future," said Dyke.
The flashers in the crosswalks repaired by Econolite come with at least a two-year
warranty, Dyke said.
She encouraged anyone who sees a broken crosswalk or any piece of faulty traffic
equipment, to call the City and report the problem.
"If we know about it, we'll get out there and fix it," she said.