Crosswalk going in on 12th

Twelfth Street will have three new medians and a crosswalk by the end of the year to make crossing the four-lane road easier for Colorado Mesa University students.

The medians will be located between Kennedy and Mesa avenues. The crosswalk, complete with the same flashing lights used at crosswalks at Kennedy and Bunting avenues, will be located south of Mesa Avenue across 12th Street. Sidewalk work and landscaping also will be done on the east side of 12th Street between Mesa and Texas avenues.

The city of Grand Junction will pay Clarke and Co. Inc. $253,626 to complete the work, which will start Oct. 17 and is scheduled for completion in December. City Planning and Public Works Director Tim Moore said the city will conduct its work at night to minimize traffic impacts, although the two center lanes on 12th Street may be closed at times during the construction period.

Moore said Colorado Mesa students told university administrators and the city they were concerned about pedestrians crossing 12th Street, particularly to get to a strip mall anchored by Albertsons at 1830 N. 12th St. Colorado Mesa Student Trustee Cody Cooper said students rarely walk up to a signal-controlled intersection at 12th Street and Orchard Avenue to cross to the strip mall.

“They’d cross absolutely anywhere. If they found a gap in traffic, they’d cross there,” Cooper said.

Cooper said the flashing lights near Mesa Avenue may help students feel safer crossing the street and give drivers more warning before a student darts across the road. But the system isn’t perfect. Cooper said a student was hit by a car last month while crossing 12th Street at Bunting Avenue. The student hit a button to start the flashing lights at the crosswalk, Cooper said, but allowed little time for cars to spot the lights and stop as he pedaled through the crosswalk on a bike.

Drivers and students alike have complained about behavior in the crosswalks, according to Colorado Mesa Associated Student Government President Justin Kawcak.

“We hear students saying drivers don’t stop and we hear drivers saying kids cross when the lights aren’t flashing or they aren’t crossing where they’re supposed to cross,” Kawcak said. “The only way to solve all these problems is to have everyone be aware of their surroundings.”

Moore said an overhead walkway has been discussed for the area, but that idea “just doesn’t seem too feasible,” he said.

“There are too many places to cross. It wouldn’t get used as much as you’d like,” he said.


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