Lighted crosswalk coming to Landing

May 8, 2014

By Ari Cetron

New: May 8, 10:14 a.m.

Sammamish Landing does not seem to be a place the bridge and tunnel crowd will be visiting any time soon.
The city is in the midst of designing a new parking lot on the east side of East Lake Sammamish Parkway, opposite the lakeside park. Plans had called for a crosswalk with a lighted beacon, but some on the City Council questioned if it might be safer to install a bridge or tunnel to get people from the park to the parking lot.
It might be safer, but it’s not nearly as cost effective, said Laura Philpot, the city’s public works director.
Each method has its own problems, Philpot noted. A bridge, for example, would cost $1.2 million. It would be challenging to make it accessible for people with wheelchairs or other mobility impairments. Also, she’s found that in many other places where bridge-type crosswalks exist, people don’t use them and end up darting across the street instead.
A tunnel is slightly cheaper, at $1.1 million, but still has mobility issues. Also, tunnels can be sort of creepy, Philpot said, and some people might fear to use them.
The original option, which calls for a crosswalk with a flashing light and a small island in the middle of the parkway, will cost $65,000.
The light, Philpot said, is pedestrian activated, meaning people will need to push a button to turn on the flashes.
As a result, when drivers see it, they will know there is actually a person there. Also, the pedestrian island means people will only have to cross one lane at a time.

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