Washington county installing highway-crossing system for pedestrians
Crews working for the Washington State Department of Transportation (WSDOT) will install an on-demand beacon warning system to alert drivers of pedestrians waiting to cross State Route 160.
The system will allow pedestrians or bicyclists to push a crosswalk button that activates flashing, amber light-emitting-diode lights. Seen by both directions of traffic, the two-sided lights will alert cars to stop to allow pedestrians to safely cross the highway.
The beacons will be installed at the State Route 160 (Southeast Sedgwick Road) crosswalk near Converse Avenue Southeast. The new system will replace a 20 mph school-zone warning system that is manually activated during school months. The new system should be installed as of the beginning of this week.
The new system allows the highway speed limit to remain 35 mph throughout the area and provides pedestrians with an on-demand crosswalk enhancement system that is available all hours of every day. Also, the system is solar-powered and thus environmentally friendly.
Pedestrians using the system should push the button at the crosswalk to activate the signal system, make eye contact with drivers before crossing the highway, wear bright or reflective outerwear, and look left, right and left again before crossing the highway.