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City Begins Fixing Broken Crosswalks

By Olin Ericksen
Staff Writer

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 month.

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.

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