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Cornelius News

New crosswalks coming on West Catawba

May 14. By Dave Vieser. Town officials say two new crosswalks on West Catawba Avenue, which should be installed and activated by Memorial Day, will be a big step toward making the two-lane artery safer for pedestrians.

But they’ll be torn up shortly before a $34 million widening project takes place in 2028-2029.

Background

Joan Messier was killed December 1, 2022, when she was trying to cross West Catawba at Westmoreland Lake Drive. Police at the time said she wasn’t using a crosswalk, although the nearest ones were more than half a mile away.

The new crosswalks, costing the town $75,000 each, will be on West Catawba Avenue between Harborside Drive and Ramsey Cove Drive, which is a short distance south of the spot where Messier was struck, as well as on West Catawba south of Preston Lake Drive, across from Robbins Park. These locations were selected following a traffic study conducted by Kimley Horne consultants.

Even with the new crossings, there will still be a significant distance between them and existing traffic signals, something which town board members plan to address.

Safety first

“Public safety always ranks No. 1 among our citizen concerns” said Commissioner Todd Sansbury. “ This board values citizen input, and we want to ensure that our community has safe and viable pathways for bikers, walkers and runners to navigate Cornelius.” As a result, the board plans to ask the town to study the need for additional crossings, including West Catawba near the new townhome development known as the Retreat, Catawba Avenue east of I-77 and on Washam Potts Road.

Sansbury

The crosswalks will be Rectangular Rapid Flashing Beacons which are similar to the ones on Jetton Road near Jetton Park.

As to their location, town officials explained why they are not placed precisely at intersections. “We call these mid-block crossings,” said Assistant Town Manager Tyler Beardsley. “Since there are not traffic signals in the area of the planned or proposed crossings, they are not located at intersections to reduce the number of turning movements and potential conflict points between pedestrians and motorists.”

The new crossing signals will be replaced with HAWK signals like the one on Westmoreland Road or utilizing a traffic signal as part of the West Catawba widening project.

With the West Catawba widening project, there will be a signalized crosswalk in the area of Dunmore Drive and Kenton Place.

Discussion

5 Responses to “New crosswalks coming on West Catawba”

  1. So cannot these crosswalks be built so as to allow for the road expansion, and be incorporated into the new project? $150k gone to vapor is NOT good budgeting/planning for my tax $

    Posted by Bucky Dornster | May 14, 2024, 9:51 am
  2. Yes! At last!!! It will be so nice to cross W Catawba a little more safely.

    Posted by Shari Stromberger | May 14, 2024, 11:27 am
  3. I appreciate all the Transportation Advisory Board is doing to promote/recommend safety improvements across our Town.
    Good to know the equipment will be relocated to other areas of need in town once the W Catawba widening takes place.
    Denis B

    Posted by Denis Bilodeau | May 14, 2024, 1:50 pm
  4. Excellent job. Have been requesting a crosswalk across Robbins Park for ages. Thank you! To the prev commenter re- waste of taxpayer money, I respectfully disagree. I don’t want to have to put any amount to the safety of my kids for the next 6 years before they’ll need to be torn down. I also read somewhere that parts of it will be relocated after widening, so not complete waste.

    Posted by Rahul | May 15, 2024, 2:45 am
  5. YAY!! They actually listened (TBA) as well as Denis and Todd, well done.

    Posted by Kevin Moore | May 16, 2024, 6:25 am

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