Crossing Highway 51 will be safer for pedestrians in Minocqua Submitted: 07/25/2013
MINOCQUA - Walking across the street can be hard and dangerous when there's a lot of traffic. Soon pedestrians in Minocqua will have new technology to help them cross four lanes of a state highway. Along with the construction on highway 51, the DOT has added what's called a Pedestrian Hybrid Beacon. It's the first cross-walk of its kind to be installed in the Northwoods. Three others were put in at Wisconsin Dells.

The device looks just like a stop light. Pedestrians and bicyclists push a button to light up the red light and stop traffic. "They reduce crashes in an area by 28 percent. They see a reasonable compliance with a motoring vehicle," said DOT Project Development Supervisor, Robin Stafford. "So since there are so many vehicles up there, they felt that this would be a good place to try it." Most pedestrian crosswalks give walkers 15 to 30 seconds to get across the street. But this one will last 40 seconds. "It'll go from a flashing yellow for the vehicles to a solid yellow, to a solid red and then back to a flashing red and back to blank," Stafford said. "In that time period when it goes from a solid yellow to a solid red, that's when the pedestrians can safely cross the roadway." The cross-walk will be activated next Wednesday.

Story By: Shardaa Gray

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