23 Sep Jacksonville NC begins crosswalk construction
Students and other residents crossing the street near Jacksonville High School will soon have a safer crossing. Construction, which has been a long time in coming, has begun on a new and safer crossing at that location. The project is called “the Hawk cross signal.” It was originally scheduled to be complete the first day of school (August 26). Now the expected time for completion is close to Thanksgiving.
ABC News Channel 12 reports that the need for the crosswalk became apparent in the wake of two pedestrian accidents taking place on a street near the school during the past year.
Anthony Prinz, transportation services director for Jacksonville NC, told Channel 12 News that a partnership between the city of Jacksonville, Onslow County Schools and the North Carolina Transportation Department has enabled the crossing project to move forward as expeditiously as possible. He added that the hardest parts of the project are over, and as long as there are no setbacks, the crossing should be “fully operational” in late November.
Prinz commented, “When we had safety concerns come up last year, we knew we had to do something about it, and today we are.”
Interim safety measures
As the new crosswalk construction is underway the city is trying to mitigate some of the traffic issues near the school. In fact, the Jacksonville City Council has requested that the state transportation department lower the speed limit on Gum Branch Road to 35 miles per hour.
Prinz also said that city police officers were present to direct traffic when school began. However, he stressed the importance of parents instructing their children carefully regarding pedestrian safety.
One mother of a junior at Jacksonville High School told Channel 12 News that parents should stress to their children that they need to be very cautious when crossing streets because not every driver will stop for them just because they are a pedestrian.
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