The Manito/Cannon Hill Neighborhood Council voted overwhelmingly Tuesday for a $25,000 crosswalk across 29th Avenue at Manito Boulevard.
The neighborhood has lobbied for a crosswalk there for some time mainly because walkers and joggers use the green space median on Manito Boulevard and frequently cross 29th.
Three options were available: a crosswalk to the east of the intersection, featuring a median for pedestrians in the middle of 29th that would cost $17,820; a crosswalk, featuring pedestrian-activated lights, connecting the green spaces north and south of 29th, which would cost $25,000; and a simple painted crosswalk in that same location, costing $3,780.
Neighbors at the meeting did not like the solution with the median on 29th. Many said it would get in the way of snowplowing; others said they didn’t like the idea of pedestrians waiting on a small island in the middle of a busy street.
After a short discussion, the council recommended the $25,000 option, connecting the two green medians on Manito Boulevard.
“This is substantial progress forward; we first started talking about this two years ago,” said neighborhood council member K.C. Traver. “I’m very happy with the solutions we had to choose from and how this worked out.”
There was some concern about the flashing lights and whether they would bother residents living next to the intersection. The lights are strobe lights, but they are only on when a pedestrian pushes a button to activate them.
The Comstock Neighborhood Council recommended the same crosswalk solution at its last meeting.
“I didn’t want to tell you that before you made a decision,” said Deb Barnes, neighborhood council chair. “I wanted us to be able to have a fair conversation about this.”
The crosswalk is considered a traffic calming measure and funding comes from fines collected by red-light cameras.
Improvements to the crosswalk at 18th Avenue and Grand Boulevard have also been approved. The crosswalk, just east of Manito Park in the 20 mph zone, will feature signs and a flashing beacon.
Construction on 29th Avenue, which should be finished by mid-October, is driving traffic down neighborhood streets. Many neighbors at the meeting said drivers are speeding and cutting through the area around 26th Avenue and Lamonte Street. It doesn’t help that parking is temporarily illegal on 25th Avenue, which according to one neighbor has turned the street into “a speedway.”
In response to that concern, the neighborhood council decided to purchase and distribute some of the “Neighbors drive 25” signs that are available from the city’s Office of Neighborhood Services.
The new crosswalk at Manito Boulevard is expected to be finished when the construction on 29th Avenue wraps up. The last part of the 29th Avenue repaving project – from Bernard Street to High Drive – will begin next spring.