The Joplin Globe, Joplin, MO

March 1, 2013

Pedestrian light on horizon on Broadway at PSU campus

By Andra Bryan Stefanoni

PITTSBURG, Kan. — A pedestrian traffic light soon will be installed on Broadway Street at the southwest edge of the Pittsburg State University campus as a student safety measure.

City commissioners this week approved the low bid by Wildcat Concrete Services, of Topeka, Kan., for $78,675 to construct a pedestrian hybrid beacon on Broadway at West Potlitzer Street, which is across from the Bryant Student Health Center and McCray Hall. PSU will pay half of the cost.

Public Works Director Bill Beasley said it’s a style of traffic light in use at other state schools. Approved by the Federal Highway Administration, it begins its warning sequence with a flashing amber light, then changes to a solid red to bring motorists to a full stop and flashes walk-don’t walk indicators for pedestrian crossing safety.

It will remain dormant until activated by a pedestrian.

Independent studies by the Texas Transportation Institute found the pedestrian hybrid beacon to be “ideal for busy roadways with higher speeds or wider crossings” and “nearly as effective as a full traffic signal, with motorist compliance at more than 90 percent.”

“I do hope, Bill, that the students out there will use this, because there’s been an awful lot of discussion about their safety in the last few years, so I’m very hopeful they will use that,” Commissioner Marty Beezley said.

Traffic study

A study performed two years ago by the Kansas Department of Transportation at the city’s request indicated most pedestrians crossed Broadway to and from campus at Cleveland and near Potlitzer, but only the Cleveland crossing has a traffic light.