New crossing signs on Fourth Street aim for safetyA group that worked to install new pedestrian signs on Fourth Street hopes the flashing beacon will make the crossing safer for walkers.
By: Danielle Killey, The Republican Eagle
A group that worked to install new pedestrian signs on Fourth Street hopes the flashing beacon will make the crossing safer for walkers.
The Jordan Towers Resident Council has been working to get the pedestrian light since winter. Residents have reported near-misses when crossing the street and said many drivers do not notice pedestrians in the area.
The new light, on Fourth Street between Jordan Tower I and Downtown Plaza, is activated when a pedestrian presses the button. It then flashes until the person is across. The time is enough for even slower crossings, project chair Kristen Dickinson said.
There previously was a pedestrian light there, but the continuously flashing light “kind of faded into the landscape,” Housing and Redevelopment Authority Director Randal Hemmerlin said.
The new light was installed last week. It only flashes when someone is crossing and creates a rotating pattern similar to emergency vehicles’ lights.
“On the whole it does get your attention because of the difference,” Dickinson said. “Your brain’s telling you something’s different on the street.”
Fundraising kicked off in December with an open house and silent auction. Then throughout the year there was a spaghetti dinner and another silent auction, chili hot dog fundraiser, Provenzano’s and Perkins Dine to Donate events, and individual donations that helped make the project a reality. The group had given itself a year to raise the money, Dickinson said, but finished by May.
“It went up much sooner than expected,” Hemmerlin said.
The Jordan Towers council also received gifts from Fairview Red Wing and Live Healthy Red Wing, along with individual donations.
“The community and the residents and the city of Red Wing, everybody pulled together,” she said.
TAPCO, the manufacturer of the light, donated the poles for the project, and the city donated the concrete along with the installation labor.
The group spent just more than $6,300 on the project.
Drivers and pedestrians are still getting used to the change, Dickinson said, but so far the feedback has been positive.
“The residents who have used it are still a little cautious … but they’re very excited about having the light there,” she said.
The group has scheduled a dedication ceremony for 1 p.m. Sept. 13 with a celebration at the Salistad Room in Jordan Towers II following.