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Safer crosswalks: Town to install three pedestrian rapid flash beacons

Observer photo by Stephanie Choate The town is looking to install a pedestrian rapid flash beacon at the crosswalk in front of the library, along with two other spots.
Observer photo by Stephanie Choate
The town is looking to install a pedestrian rapid flash beacon at the crosswalk in front of the library, along with two other spots.

By Stephanie Choate

Observer staff

The town is planning to install flashing lights at three Williston crosswalks to make it easier for pedestrians to cross the street.

The Selectboard on May 18 approved the Public Works’ Department’s request to allocate $40,000 from the capital budget to purchase and install three pedestrian rapid flash beacons in town.

All of the beacons—activated when a pedestrian pushes a button—would be installed at existing crosswalks, where it is already Vermont state law to stop for pedestrians in the crosswalk.

Two of the beacons would go in the historic village at crosswalks across U.S. Route 2, one in front of the Old Brick Church and one in front of the library. The third would go at the crossing on Industrial Avenue near Rossignol Park.

Assistant Public Works Director Lisa Sheltra plans to apply for a grant through the Vermont Agency of Transportation’s Bike and Pedestrian Grant Program to help pay for the beacons.

The town currently has two rapid flash beacons, both of which are used regularly, according to the Public Works Department. There is one on Old Stage Road and one on North Williston Road, near the intersection with Mountain View Road.

Sheltra said the crosswalks across Route 2 in the village are used frequently, including by children going to and from school and residents going to the Old Brick Church for nighttime events.