Enhanced Safety Features Coming to Campus Crosswalks on College Ave.

The Appleton Common Council Wednesday evening approved by a 12-3 vote a Lawrence University proposal to enhance pedestrian and driver safety at two crosswalks on College Ave.

The agreed-to improvements include upgrading eight existing lighting fixtures from 250 watts to 400 watts plus, adding two 1-arm lights near the crosswalks, installing in-roadway warning lights (IRWL) and four amber flashers for each crosswalk utilizing Rectangular Rapid Flash Beacon (RRFB) technology. In addition, Lawrence and the city have agreed to conduct joint efforts to educate users of the street and crosswalks to become smarter and safer drivers and pedestrians.

The safety enhancements will be accompanied by a two-year study designed by Dr. William Skinner, director of research administration and Dr. Rob Beck, professor of education, to measure their effectiveness in improving safety. Using a trained crew of staged pedestrians and technicians, the study will collect data on motorist-pedestrian interactions under a variety of conditions, including time of day, weather and visibility at the crosswalks located at Park and Union streets.

The IRWL and RRFB enhances are scheduled for installation in 2012.