Prairie Village tests out new pedestrian crosswalk lights - KCTV5

Prairie Village tests out new pedestrian crosswalk lights

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Spring weather means more walkers, joggers and bikers crossing streets, and one local city is taking steps to make them safer.

Some residents say the technology being used in Prairie Village is long overdue. It's a crosswalk that lights up when pedestrians cross and all crossers have to do is push the button.

Jonathan Henderson crosses a street near Weltner Park daily. He said the new lights slow cars down, and he thinks it's pretty cool.

"Yes they do. They slow down a lot," he said.

"They make it more aware to drivers that people are trying to cross the road," said Keith Bradyhoff, the public works director.

It's an idea that residents say will tremendously help with vehicle versus pedestrian accidents. The new LED crosswalk lights are the first of their kind in Prairie Village, and so far so good.

"We have other locations that could potentially want the same kind of treatment, so we're evaluating this location," Bradyhoff said.

The city said drivers not stopping when folks are crossing has been a problem as long as cars have been on the road, and hopefully lights like the one on Cambridge Drive next to the park will make drivers look up and be more aware of the crosswalk.

The city said Weltner Park near State Line Road and Somerset Drive is the perfect place to test the new lights because kids play there all the time and the street is tricky with its curve.

Neighbors agree.

"I really like them. I think anything that makes it safer for people to walk and children to cross streets, especially on the streets that are so busy and people travel so fast, is really an important thing," said Lynne Warren.

Many are now wondering if they will soon see the lights at crosswalks all over town. That remains to be seen. They cost the city about $6,000 per set.

Prairie Village said the new lights at Weltner Park are currently just a test. They continue to look for other crosswalks that might need them in the future.

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