Residents call for traffic light after pedestrian death

Petition sponsors have gathered more than 250 signatures since Sunday

Posted: Wednesday, October 06, 2004

Douglas Island residents are lobbying for a crosswalk signal light at the intersection where a pedestrian was hit and killed by a pickup last week.

Dennis Adams, chairman of the Douglas Area Advisory Board, and Mark Whitman of Douglas started circulating a petition Sunday and have collected more than 250 signatures, Adams said Tuesday.

The petition comes after Juneau resident Angela Bradley was hit and killed Sept. 28 while walking across Douglas Highway at the intersection of Cordova Street in west Juneau.

"I've got to do something; I'm tired of this," Adams said. "My daughter likes to run down there (Breeze In convenience store) and get a candy bar. I don't need her to get whacked."

The petition calls for a push-button crosswalk light at the intersection, just south of the Breeze In. Adams suggests that the Alaska Department of Transportation consider two traffic light options. One could be two yellow triangular signs with attached yellow lights posted in both directions on Douglas Highway, he said. Pedestrians would push a button on a pole and the yellow lights would flash, alerting motorists they were crossing Douglas.

The other option is a permanent red blinking light installed on Cordova with a yellow blinking light on Douglas. Pedestrians would push a button on a pole and the yellow blinking light would flash red, causing traffic to stop on Douglas.

Kara Altman of Juneau signed Adams' petition Tuesday in the parking lot of Cedar Park, a state-run housing complex off of Cordova Street.

"People need to pay more attention, and if a sign is going to do it ... I think at some point my daughter is going to walk across there with my granddaughter, and we don't want her killed," Altman said.

Altman's daughter, Kourtney, who lives at Cedar Park, is expected to give birth in November.

West Juneau resident Carol Browning signed the petition Tuesday but was doubtful the state would take action, she said.

"I don't feel the state cares," she said.

The state Department of Transportation's answer to the problem is building a roundabout in front of the Breeze In, officials say. The roundabout will reduce traffic speeds and improve safety in west Juneau, transportation spokes-man John Manly said Tuesday. Motorists will need to slow to 15 to 20 mph to enter the roundabout.

Manly contended roundabouts are effective traffic tools. One installed in August at Dowling Road and New Seward Highway in Anchorage has been effective, he said.

Motorists from south Douglas allow North Douglas drivers into the intersection at the Breeze In, causing traffic problems, Manly said. The roundabout will resolve some of this, he said.

"They (roundabouts) do work really well in slowing down traffic and smoothing it out," Manly said.

After Adams and Whitman have canvassed west Juneau and Douglas, they plan to deliver the petition and signatures to City Hall, the Department of Transportation and Gov. Frank Murkowski.

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