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Crosswalk, flashers get OK for Cottage at Brookdale Way

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POSTED May 9, 2013 1:14 a.m.

A crosswalk with flashing beacons on each side of the street to alert motorists there may be pedestrians will be installed later this year on Cottage Avenue at Brookdale Way.

The City Council approved the installation Tuesday to address growing concerns that crossing the busy connector street was becoming increasingly dangerous for children who walk to and from Cowell School.

The design employs a series of wide white bars painted on the asphalt in a manner much like railroad ties. It will also include flashing beacons atop crossing signs on both sides of the crosswalk to alert traffic traveling on Cottage.

In addition, warnings painted on the pavement will alert drivers they are approaching a pedestrian crossing.

The council on Tuesday also received a staff memo about plans to raise the posted speed limit on Cottage from 30 to 40 mph due to speed survey results. If the city wants to use radar for speed enforcement, they must do periodical speed surveys under state law and post the speed limit within five miles per hour of how fast 85 percent of the traffic travels.

 Councilman Steve DeBrum led the charge for the crosswalk after noticing children on several occasions nearly getting struck by vehicles.

Staff had noted some of the problem stems from how close Brookdale is to the Button and Cottage avenues interchange some 175 feet away. Also, the fairly sharp pitch of the overcrossing of Highway 99 allows cars to pick up momentum and often exceed the current posted speed limit of 30 mph.

The crosswalk and accompanying signage may cost as much as $10,000 to put in place. The crosswalk will go on the south side of the intersection. Signs will be placed on pipe barriers on the north side to instruct pedestrians to cross at the crosswalk.

The council two years ago this month directed staff to pursue a crosswalk on Woodward Avenue at Buena Vista Drive. That crosswalk is undergoing further study by a consultant.

Walking to and from school as well as to Woodward Park was the concern behind that crossing with high speed traffic being the culprit again.  The council directed staff to proceed with designing a crosswalk in May 2011 after receiving a petition from residents of the neighborhood north of the park.

The consultant also will also look at how to address safety concerns for the bike path users crossing Woodward Avenue at Wellington Avenue.

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