Pedestrian crosswalk improvements under construction on MLK Jr. Boulevard
EUGENE, Ore. (KMTR) -- Two seniors remain in stable condition at a Eugene hospital Tuesday night after being hit by a car last week on Martin Luther King Jr. Boulevard, a road that remains under construction with pedestrian improvements.
85-year-old Elaine Stewart and 90-year-old Charles Stewart of Eugene were listed in fair and serious condition respectively on Monday, September 3, 2012. The two were hit by a car while attempting to cross MLK Jr. Boulevard on Friday, August 31st. So far, no charges have been filed in the case.
Contractors are continuing to work on the stretch of road to improve pedestrian safety, a project that was well in the works before the incident last Friday.
Crews spent Tuesday, September 4, 2012, digging up sections of the road where they’ll lay concrete island crosswalks over the next two weeks. Each crossing will have new wheelchair ramps, a raised refuge island in the middle of the road and a well-marked walkway.
In all, two crossings are being installed. One crosswalk is by Scout Access Way; the other is by the Serbu Youth Center across from Autzen Stadium’s north gate.
Traffic planners chose the crossing locations by looking at pedestrian patterns. People who cross MLK Jr. Boulevard the most are typically coming from the bus stop.
“It's coincidental that it's in front of Autzen; it lines up with the primary access to the Serbu Center, this particular one,” says Eric Jones, a spokesman for the Eugene Public Works Department.
“We have on order some flashing lights - very visible, pedestrian-activated and they'll complete the crossing,” says Jones.
Both walkways will be marked with the rapid flashing lights. However, since the lights are on backorder, they'll go in along with the finishing touches in early to mid-October.
Even if this work had been done earlier, it's likely that the improvements would not have helped prevent last Friday's pedestrian crash. The crash happened between the Masonic Lodge parking lot and PK Park, several hundred feet from where the crosswalks are being installed.
Eugene Public Works says in the future, it will continue to study MLK Jr. Boulevard to see if more crosswalks are needed. At this point, there are no plans to install new crosswalks near the Masonic Lodge.
For more information on the project, click the following link: http://www.keepusmoving.info/?q=node/119.