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Holiday festivities show need for proper crosswalk

What a great day. Boulder City’s celebration of our country’s independence was outstanding. A giant thanks to the organizers and the many volunteers that made it a wonderful experience — from the pancake breakfast, the parade, the flyover, the fun in Broadbent Park, the numerous class reunions to all the activities at Veterans’ Memorial Park in the evening culminating in a fantastic fireworks display.

Now I know what the “sidewalks to nowhere” along the east side of Buchanan Boulevard north of Royal Birkdale Drive and Broadmoor Circle are for. Conversation pieces?

Dozens of cars and hundreds of people used the residential areas across from the park for free parking and then crossed Buchanan at the intersections, as expected, to enjoy the proceedings.

In December, the envisioned midblock and nonstop controlled crossings near Buchanan at Royal Birkdale and Broadmoor Circle/Commons Way were installed flying in the face of the guidelines established by the Federal Highway Administration. For good reason, the public works department, engineering division, did not include the white bars on the street at either of the locations, since accepted federal guidelines prohibit crosswalks in midblock locations without traffic control lights. As stated in the December utility flier, the construction funded by the Community Development Block Grant only covered the installation of the Americans with Disabilities Act compliant ramps. Apparently, it neither covered the sidewalks connecting these locations to the respective intersection nor did it include the cost of installing pedestrian crossing signals.

The then-alluded-to safe median island refuge areas seem to fall outside of the grant parameters and are far more liability than asset because of their locations in the transitions from southbound Buchanan into left turn lanes into Broadmoor Circle and Royal Birkdale. A driver’s attention is focused on turning into the left-turn lane and neither intersection is well lighted at night.

Rumor had it that a parent had instructed children to cross to and from Veterans Memorial Park at the points with the median cutouts. The parent obviously didn’t know that the children were being instructed to continue the jaywalking that one has to do to cross Buchanan near Broadmoor Circle/Commons Way and again at Royal Birkdale.

How about reducing the speed limit along Buchanan from El Camino Way to Georgia Avenue/Veterans Memorial Parkway from 45 to 35 mph, thus matching the section between Adams Boulevard and El Camino? Or installing the white bars that we are used to seeing at intersections with pedestrian crosswalks and pedestrian crossing signals, such as at Buchanan and El Camino, at both Broadmoor Circle and Royal Birkdale locations?

The Americans with Disabilities Act access points are already installed at both intersections and provide sufficiently unobstructed views of pedestrians and vehicular traffic to make crossing within normally accepted crosswalks safe for the pedestrians and the drivers.

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