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Salinas increases pedestrian safety measures throughout the city

Salinas increases pedestrian safety...

SALINAS, Calif. - UPDATE 7/1/2017 5:20 p.m.: The city of Salinas is increasing pedestrian safety measures throughout the city.

Crews have recently installed crosswalk flashing beacons at North Main and Lamar Streets and Independence Boulevard and Danbury Streets. Pedestrians wishing to cross the street can activate the beacon, which alerts approaching drivers that a pedestrian is in the roadway.

"We're using them at a crossing in a street where there's multi lanes, and where there are a good number of pedestrians crossing and there's no controls," said Transportation Manager James Serrano.

There are now five of the beacons throughout the city. The others are located at West Alisal and Cayuga Street, Sanborn Road at Antigua Avenue and along John Street. They’ve been paid for with transportation money and gas tax funds. The city hopes to add more of these flashing beacons around town, but the locations have not yet been decided.

"I think everywhere, everywhere you have to cross," one pedestrian said.

"The thing about putting stop signs or traffic signals close to each other is that you create congestion and sometimes it's not necessary for the rest of the day,” Serrano said. “Sometimes the problem only exists at peak hours.”

There are plans to also repaint crosswalks with bright colors that illuminate at night so people can see pedestrians more clearly.

The city is also undergoing a Safe Streets assessment, where experts are examining some of the city's most dangerous roadways. A complete assessment is due within the month, however, Salinas police have been tracking some of the hotspots, including North Main Street.

So far this year, there have been four deadly pedestrian-related crashes, compared to a total of six last year. Within the last three years, there have been 13 deadly pedestrian crashes, with most of the involving pedestrians not in a crosswalk.

"Those cars weigh about two tons and if a car hits a person, the person will lose every time, whether they are in the right or not," Sgt. Gerry Ross said.

ORIGINAL POST:

The city of Salinas increased pedestrian safety measures throughout the city.

Crews have recently installed new crosswalk flashing beacons at North Main and Lamar Streets and Independence Boulevard and Danbury Streets. Pedestrians wishing to cross the street can activate the beacon, which alerts approaching drivers that a pedestrian is in the roadway. There are now five of the beacons throughout the city.

"We're using them at a crossing in a street where there's multi lanes, and where there are a good number of pedestrians crossing and there's no controls," said Transportation Manager James Serrano.

The city is also undergoing a Safe Streets assessment, where experts are examining some of the city's most dangerous roadways. A complete assessment is due within the month, however, Salinas police have been tracking some of the hotspots, including North Main Street.

So far this year, there have been four deadly pedestrian-related crashes, compared to a total of six last year. Within the last three years, there have been 13 deadly pedestrian crashes, with most of the involving pedestrians not in a crosswalk.

"Those cars weigh about two tons and if a car hits a person, the person will lose every time, whether they are in the right or not," Sgt. Gerry Ross said.

KION's Mariana Hicks has the full story at 6 p.m.


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