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Pedestrian-Friendly Traffic Signals Coming To Kanawha Boulevard

Reported: May. 14, 2014 8:22 PM EDT
Updated: May. 15, 2014 4:40 PM EDT
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CHARLESTON, W.Va. (Taisha Walker) -- The city of Charleston is getting a face-lift.

New stop light poles, LED street signs and new foundations for old street poles are going to be installed at 59 intersections around the city by December.

On Kanawha Boulevard, pedestrian-accessible stop lights are being installed on McFarland, Brooks, Clendenin and Morris streets and Leon Sullivan Way. The modified stop lights will put an end to the throughway, which some Charleston runners and joggers call a safety concern.

"Traffic just flies," Jennifer Barger, who exercises daily along Kanawha Boulevard, said. "Most people do obey the speed limit, but, of course, you have a few that are just in too big of a hurry. It is pretty dangerous because there are so many pedestrians trying to cross."

Electrical contractors with Bayliss & Ramey Inc. have been working against the extreme heat to get the new traffic signals up and running within the next few weeks.

Allen Copley, traffic engineering director for Charleston, said the contractors will then replace old street poles on Washington Street to the north, Clendenin Street to the west and Morris Street to the east.

Chandra Appachi works in Charleston and frequently takes strolls along Kanawha Boulevard. He said more pedestrian friendly traffic signals are needed because speeding drivers pose a safety hazard for anyone trying to cross the street.

"That should be a great idea," Appachi said. "What happens is people always speed up and it makes crossing very difficult, actually."

The central business district traffic signal project started in early spring and is on schedule to wrap up in December. The project is estimated to cost $4.5 million.



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