Friday, September 30, 2011

Ga State asks for OK to build more 'decorative' crosswalks, install blinking lights to protect pedestrians from speed demons

Posted By on Fri, Sep 30, 2011 at 9:48 AM

The days of playing live-action Frogger on downtown Atlanta's streets might soon be over. Georgia State University is looking to build new and improved crosswalks and install warning-light systems around the campus to safeguard students from speed demons.

The plan, which university officials say is needed after GSU opened additional student housing, calls for up to 25 beefed-up, "decorative" crosswalks at eight different downtown intersections and in-road warning lights at two intersections within the campus' footprint. (The two intersections are Piedmont Avenue and Ellis Street and John Wesley Dobbs Avenue and Pryor Street for those keeping tabs.)

The new crosswalks would be brick with the familiar GSU logo, similar to those already in place. Embedded street lights warning motorists would flash when activated by pedestrians. The project has no timeline and, according to GSU's university letter to city officials asking for support, would be built as the school's budget allows. (We asked GSU for more details about the improvements, including the project's cost, but have yet to hear back.)

According to a July GSU press release about campus construction, the new crosswalks and light systems are part of a larger streetscape project that includes tree plantings and widened sidewalks along busy Piedmont Avenue, which city and university officials deemed unsafe for pedestrians.

Sally Flocks of PEDS, a local pedestrian advocacy group, says the new crosswalks and in-road warning lights will "help people understand that they're in a campus." The embedded lighting, she says, will be especially useful at night to alert drivers.

The Atlanta City Council Transportation Committee gave its blessing on Wednesday to legislation authorizing GSU to begin the work; a full Council vote is expected on Monday.

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