Lane Ranger: City explains little-used crosswalk


Crosswalk on (Northwest) 22nd St. at 5th Place in Gainesville

Published: Sunday, May 26, 2013 at 5:16 p.m.
Last Modified: Sunday, May 26, 2013 at 5:16 p.m.

Suppose the city built a pedestrian crosswalk, but the pedestrians don’t come.

That seems to be the situation pointed out by a reader.

“Why is there a crosswalk on (Northwest) 22nd St. at Fifth Place — a cul-de-sac with about 10 yards worth of sidewalk?” wrote a reader named Colleen. “There is a sign on each side, ‘Stop for pedestrians’ — but I’ve never seen any pedestrians crossing.”

Stefan Broadus, an engineer/utility designer for Gainesville’s Public Works Department, gave several reasons for the crosswalk.

Broadus said in an email that 22nd Street does not have a safe pedestrian crossing between University and Eighth avenues. Residents who attended public meetings said the crosswalk would be beneficial, especially when University of Florida events create a lot of traffic.

The top priority expressed by the neighbors was safety, specifically reducing the travel speeds on NW 22nd Street. Along with the raised intersection at Fifth Avenue, the crosswalk and sidewalk with in-street signs provide traffic calming.

A third reason is expansion of the sidewalk network.

“Unfortunately, budgetary and right-of-way constraints prevented a sidewalk from being installed on the west side of the road during this project,” Broadus said. “Other side streets have tight right-of-ways which prevented sidewalks from being installed. (Northwest) Fifth Place was the only side street in the project limits that had a wide enough right-of-way with no obstacles such as utilities or large trees to construct a sidewalk.”

Broadus added that the sidewalk at Fifth Place could spur neighbors on other side streets and on the west side of 22nd Street to volunteer easements for future sidewalks.

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