Photo courtesy of Rivertown Multimedia
In early 2018, pedestrians and drivers in Hastings will have something new catching their eye at one of the busiest intersections in town. The city is testing a new pilot program designed to give pedestrians increased visibility as they cross the street in the area near Cub Foods and Target. Individual pedestrian crossing flags will be installed at each side of the intersection, located at General Sieben Drive and South Frontage Road, in early January, making pedestrians more visible to oncoming vehicles.
This intersection is one of the highest traveled areas along the 105 miles of city-owned streets in Hastings. Although there have been no reports of pedestrian-involved crashes at this location, its proximity to popular commercial businesses and senior housing facilities make it a good candidate to test the program. Posts will be installed on each side of the crosswalk, with containers holding multiple orange crossing flags.
Here is how the crossing flag pilot program works:
- Pedestrians wishing to cross at the crosswalk will take a flag from the holder on one side of the crossing.
- Following all normal safety precautions, look both ways and extend the flag out in front of you to gain the attention of approaching motorists. Hold the flag in front of you while crossing the street.
- After crossing safely, place the flag in the holder on the other side.
The City is in contact with the management of the nearby senior apartments to partner with its residents to adopt the role of monitoring the flags to report when any go missing or need replacement. The city will also be asking those residents and the general public to report their experience using the flags. We will evaluate this program over the next 12 months to determine if the flags would be installed at other high-volume intersections around Hastings.