JONESBORO, Ark. (KAIT) - Two studies conducted by the Northeast Arkansas Regional Transportation Commission have Jonesboro officials questioning the safety of some of the city’s most dangerous road crossings.
The Safe Transportation for Every Pedestrian (STEP) study looked at two specific streets in North Jonesboro: East Johnson Avenue and North Church Street.
The purpose of the study was to “address safety issues, particularly at uncontrolled, unsignalized crossing locations.”
According to Cecelie Cochran, director of the Metropolitan Planning Organization, now that the studies are complete it’s time to start implementing.
“The first step would be to coordinate with the city of Jonesboro, specifically the grants department and the engineering department to see if all or any of those recommendations that were put forth will be accepted for us to try to find a grant that is appropriate to get them funded," Cochran said.
Those recommendations include installing sidewalks, pedestrian crossing signs, new and additional lighting, and a transit stop bench.
Another recommendation would bring traffic to a complete stop.
A Pedestrian Hybrid Beacon would be installed at a curb that has limited sight distance off of North Bradley Street. It would stop stop traffic for an average of 2.8 seconds.
Cochran says the improvements aren’t just blind suggestions but something officials took time to identify.
“We don’t want to plan for our city in what we think should be put there, we want to know what should be put there. What would be most advantageous for the people around our area? What’s more suitable for our area for what we have so the adjustments that we are making and the recommendations that we have, we need the background data to support it before we support for actual funding,” Cochran said.
The second study looked at issues on Johnson Avenue.
Cochran says they had some pushback in the beginning, but now, motorists are adjusting and pedestrians are crossing safely.
The crosswalk is a temporary design and will be removed in July. However, Cochran says these are all studies and there is a possibility for permanent options in the future.