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Tue, Oct. 22

New Gurley/Summit crosswalk gets City Council approval

PRESCOTT - While acknowledging that traffic changes rarely make everyone happy, the Prescott City Council agreed this week that a change at the Gurley Street/Summit Avenue crosswalk came as close as possible.

In a unanimous vote on Tuesday, the council approved the crosswalk reconfiguration plan that evolved from a citizens' petition, and later, discussions with the city's Transportation Coordinating Committee.

The change involves moving the crosswalk from one side of the street to the other, adding more striping, and installing large overhead pedestrian warning signs on mast arms.

In all, city officials expect the changes to cost about $5,000.

The issue arose this past spring, when a group of residents and business owners from the Gurley/Summit area collected about 500 signatures on a petition that asked for a traffic signal at the crosswalk.

While a city analysis indicated that the traffic statistics did not warrant a signal at the corner, they agreed to look into other options, and sent the matter to the Transportation Coordinating Committee.

This week, representatives from both sides said the process worked.

Al Williams of the Transportation Coordinating Committee reported that the residents were open to suggestions for the crosswalk, and petition organizer Sandra Parker said the committee members were helpful in looking for improvement options.

"I am quite excited about this whole process," Mayor Jack Wilson said, noting that it was "citizen-initiated."

Along with the accolades, the proposal generated one fear as well. While noting that she supports much of the proposal, Sue Knaup of Prescott Alternative Transportation repeated her concern about the suggested barriers at the existing crosswalk to keep pedestrians from continuing to use that site.

Knaup said the barriers could be dangerous because they could trap pedestrians in the roadway.

Williams responded that the barriers would help change the habits of pedestrians in the area.

He added that while most people seem satisfied with the proposal, "We don't make everyone happy."

Contact the reporter at cbarks@prescottaz.com

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