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Dangerous Port intersection to get flashing light PDF Print E-mail
Daily News
Wednesday, 10 January 2018 18:52

Police study concludes safety is an issue, particularly for pedestrians, at Grand Avenue and Webster Street

    A flashing red light and stop sign will soon be installed on Grand Avenue at Webster Street, near the Niederkorn Library and Port Washington High School.
    The installation of the light, recommended last week by the Traffic Safety Committee and the Common Council, is seen as a much needed safety improvement  in an area where there have been numerous accidents and near misses, some involving pedestrians.
    A five-day study of the intersection done by Police Officer Gary Belzer in late May — before school was out for the year — concluded pedestrian safety is a concern, Police Chief Kevin Hingiss, a member of the committee, said.
    In Belzer’s report, he noted that he observed numerous violations — failure to yield at the intersection being the primary one, followed by distracted drivers and then speeding.
    While officials often express concern that a new stop sign in an area where none existed before can be a hazard because people don’t expect it, the flashing lights will help ensure people pay attention to this sign, committee members said.
    “I think it’s definitely needed,” Hingiss said. “If you miss (the flashing sign), you shouldn’t be driving.”
    The sign will be similar to one at the intersection of Norport Drive and Wisconsin Street on the city’s north side.
    Traffic Safety Committee members debated whether the sign should be installed on the east or west side of Webster Street, ultimately agreeing it should go on the west side where a crosswalk currently exists.
    “At least if somebody’s passing on the right, they know someone’s crossing the street,” Hingiss said.
    “I think this will go a long way to increasing safety there,” Public Works Director Rob Vanden Noven said.
    The Main Street Design Committee has been looking at improvements to the area, including making some changes to the crossing, officials noted.
    “If the intersection is reconfigured at some time, it can be moved,” Vanden Noven said, noting the light is solar powered, not wired.
    The flashing stop sign is expected to be installed in spring, he added.
    The cost of the sign will be split between the city and Allen Edmonds, which recently sought a similar sign be placed at the crosswalk in front of its Seven Hills Road shop, Vanden Noven said.
    The city’s share of the cost, about $2,600, will be taken from the city’s contingency fund or added to the street repair borrowing, City Administrator Mark Grams said.Daily Press