FIFTH STREET — Two mid-street crosswalks in Downtown may be removed by City Hall because of a decrease in pedestrian traffic and concern for the lack of flashing warning lights.
However, some say the street will be more dangerous without them.
“First, to be really clear, we’re not removing any crosswalks without community input,” said Sam Morrissey, principal transportation engineer for City Hall. “Right now the type and level of activity at those two uncontrolled crosswalks is lower than others in the city.”
The two crosswalks in question are located on Fifth Street between Arizona Avenue and Broadway. A public meeting will be held today to discuss the possibility of taking away the crosswalks.
Law requires cars to stop at each crosswalk, but neither has a stoplight or flashing yellow lights, which has raised concerns amongst at least one group — senior citizens. Some seniors believe the crosswalks should be left in place with more signage added.
“I don’t have a car and I do a lot of walking,” said Josephine Herron, a resident of Silvercrest Senior Citizens retirement home, located on Fifth Street a block away from the crosswalks. “Well, I just think it’s more convenient for those of us who walk.”
Convenience is not the only concern regarding the crosswalks.
“One of our residents was hit a year or so ago and is really a different person because of it,” said Emily Seiler, administrator of Silvercrest.
Seiler added the senior had to undergo multiple brain surgeries due to the accident.
“I know that right now, some of our residents are wishing that we had [a crosswalk] on Fifth Street between Colorado and Broadway,” Seiler said. “A long block for some of the people is a long way. From our standpoint, the more crosswalks, the better.”
Seiler said many cars traveling down Fifth Street exceed the speed limit. Herron has also noted many of the cars leaving the freeway travel at speeds too high for side streets. They think that more crosswalks help to slow cars down.
Fifth Street and Downtown in general are fairly dangerous because of the high number of drivers, some said. The question is how to go about fixing this problem: Add more mid-block crosswalks or take them away?
A meeting will be held today, Tuesday, at 6 p.m. at the Ken Edwards Center, located at 1527 Fourth St., #106, to gather comments about the crosswalks. It is open to the public.