Crossing Highway 51 will be safer for pedestrians in MinocquaSubmitted: 07/25/2013
Story By Shardaa Gray

Photos By Shardaa Gray

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.

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