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Crosswalk safety lights in Stephenville aimed at heightening pedestrian safety

Mayor Tom O’Brien, centre, and Dwayne Russell, right, manager of municipal services with the Town of Stephenville, look on as employees of the Town of Stephenville’s Public Works department put finishing touches on one of the two new crosswalk traffic lights installed at the intersection of Main Street and St. George’s Avenue Extension in Stephenville.
Mayor Tom O’Brien, centre, and Dwayne Russell, right, manager of municipal services with the Town of Stephenville, look on as employees of the Town of Stephenville’s Public Works department put finishing touches on one of the two new crosswalk traffic lights installed at the intersection of Main Street and St. George’s Avenue Extension in Stephenville.

A new set of crosswalk traffic lights installed on Main Street near its intersection with St. George’s Avenue Extension is all about safety.

That’s according to Mayor Tom O’Brien, who was out inspecting the new installation on Monday morning with Dwayne Russell, the town’s manager of municipal services.

While neither of them knew of any pedestrians hit at this particular crosswalk, complaints have been made to the town that there has been a number of near misses at the location, between McDonald’s and the Stephenville Post Office building.

The solar-powered lighting system, which is push button activated, cost about $10,000 to purchase and get installed as they had to be set in concrete due to their weight.

O’Brien said the town decided to try the first set to see how they will work out and decided on this particular location because it’s known to be a high traffic area, especially during the period school is in session.

He said a lot of students from Stephenville Middle School take this particular route to McDonald’s during lunch breaks.

O’Brien said it’s also in close proximity to the Carolina Avenue Bridge and many pedestrians coming off the old base area use this particular crosswalk, so it was felt to be an excellent location for the lights.

“This is a continuation of our driver and pedestrian awareness program,” he said.

If the crosswalk traffic lights work out well, the town will be looking in the future at installing similar systems at other high traffic areas, including the Queen Street and Minnesota Drive/Prince Rupert Drive intersection between Stephenville Middle School and A&W, and another at the intersection of Main Street and West Street near Stephenville Elementary and Primary Schools.

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