City Times Staff
City streets crews on Monday began installation of a new rapid flash beacon on the corner of Franklin and Division streets.
The new light will warn motorists of pedestrians at the busy intersection, which is used heavily by students at UW-Stevens Point.
“Hopefully if the weather cooperates they’ll be done installing them this week,” said Scott Schatschneider, director of public works. “I would think by the middle of next week it will be programmed and ready to go.”
Schatschneider said his department will monitor the beacons steadily for the first few months, then report back to the city council.
The beacon is the latest in safety improvements to the intersection, which has been home to several near-misses between pedestrians, bicyclists and motorists until last Sept., when a pedestrian received minor injuries after being struck by a passing vehicle.
To increase visibility at the intersection, the city has removed an electric marquee sign from the front of the Stevens Point Fire Dept. Station No. 1, which is housed on the east of Division St., and also improved lighting at the intersection.
The city also turned one block of Franklin St. into a one-way road going westbound to lessen traffic there.
“We’re going to have a fair amount of pedestrian traffic there the first two months of school,” Schatschneider said. “So we’ll do a substantial amount of observation to determine how well [the beacons] are functioning.”