The city of Delaware will be receiving free pedestrian countdown timers at some of its busier streets, thanks to an agreement with the Ohio Department of Transportation.
The Mid-Ohio Regional Planning Commission has asked ODOT District 6 to administer the second phase of its “Systematic Safety Improvement Pilot Project.”
“The goal of the project is to reduce the occurrence of fatal and serious injury crashes on the locally maintained roadway system through the installation of low-cost safety improvements,” states a fact sheet presented to Delaware City Council recently.
“It’s a $58,840 project on behalf of the state and MORPC, which provides the funds and expertise, design and installation to the city to upgrade nine intersections,” said public works director/city engineer Bill Ferrigno at the City Council meeting on May 9.
The upgrades involve two different safety features — pedestrian countdown timers and high-visibility crosswalks. Countdown timers inform pedestrians on how many seconds are left to safely cross the road before the “don’t walk” symbol is shown. High-visibility crosswalks are lines painted like a ladder on the road, which alerts drivers that there’s a crosswalk sooner than the basic crosswalk marking of two lines.
Six locations will receive countdown timers and high-visibility crosswalks: West William Street and U.S. 36 at Applegate Lane; North Franklin Street at West Central Avenue and State Route 37; North Sandusky Street at East Lincoln Avenue; West Central/37 at Grady Memorial Hospital; and West William/36 at Lehner Woods Boulevard. Three locations will receive countdown timers only: London Road at South Liberty Street; London at South Sandusky; and North Sandusky at Heffner Street.
“If there are additional funds available, it’s possible we could get additional countdown timers or rectangular rapid flashing beacons at pedestrian intersections,” Ferrigno said. “Typically, you’d see that at a major pedestrian crossing or a mid-block crossing.”
The total project budget is $1 million, to be divided among 11 jurisdictions in Delaware, Fairfield and Franklin counties.
The ordinance was unanimously approved by council on second reading.
Council members asked if an audible signal at William and Sandusky were among the upgrades, and Ferrigno said no. He estimated it would cost $31,000, and suggested it could be added to the 2017 budget. The $31,000 would need to be authorized by council through a future supplemental appropriation. It would be done by a contractor as a separate project.
“That corner is so critical anyway,” said Mayor Carolyn Kay Riggle.”This audio will help anybody crossing the street, if they’re not paying attention and texting. It adds to the safety.”
Gary Budzak may be reached at 740-413-0904 or on Twitter @GaryBudzak.