Signal helps walkers ford river of traffic |

Signal helps walkers ford river of traffic

Although the commute through Glenwood Springs will be slower yet, city officials insist the newly installed traffic light at 10th Street and Grand Avenue is essential for pedestrian safety.

Members of the Glenwood Springs City Council made a request to the Colorado Department of Transportation last year to install the light.

Sturgeon Electric crews erected the poles and installed the lights. The crosswalk became operational on Friday.

Council urged CDOT to put in the light to help people cross the busy intersection, as well as break up the traffic and allow motorists to more easily maneuver onto Grand Avenue from the east and west sides of 10th Avenue.

“This is my light,” Councilman Don Gillespie said, explaining that he strongly supported the installation of the new light, but the council as a whole made it happen. “I was tired of seeing people dodge traffic.”

While the signal is similar to those at the Eighth and Ninth street intersections with Grand Avenue, there are some differences. There are no special turning lanes at the intersection.

“There’s not enough width to accommodate two separate lanes,” city engineer Larry Thompson said.

Another key difference is the presence of big, shiny silver buttons that pedestrians can press when they want to cross Grand Avenue. On Eighth and Ninth, there are no buttons because the walk signals are automatic.

And lastly, the new signals do not have any cuckoo whistles, nor any other types of bird chirps.

“This one was basically put in based upon a request for an improved pedestrian crossing,” Thompson said. “We’re also trying to create some more opportunities for getting on Highway 82 from downtown.”

The reason the signal took so long to be installed stems from a CDOT shortage of traffic light poles, Gillespie said.

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