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Monroe crosswalks at key locations to get more safety features

MONROE — Work crews this summer will install flashing beacons at crosswalks near schools and other places through town, particularly along west Main Street.
The Monroe City Council Jan. 9 approved accepting $162,400 in grant funding to help fund the installation of rectangular rapid flashing beacons at six spots throughout town, including three on Main Street.
“They’re designed to grab people’s attention because it’s a flashing light,” said Jakeh Roberts, public works director for the City of Monroe.
Areas on Main Street receiving the flashing beacons are at the crosswalk at the east leg of the Tester Road roundabout, at the midblock crosswalk adjacent to Monroe Christian School, and at the midblock crosswalk adjacent to Frank Wagner Elementary School.
Other parts of the city that will receive flashing beacons are at the midblock crosswalk at the YMCA on Fryelands Boulevard, the intersection at Fryelands Boulevard and 146th Street and the crosswalk near Walmart on North Kelsey Street.
The flashing beacons increase motorist yielding rates up to 98 percent and can reduce crashes involving pedestrians by 47 percent, according to information from the Federal Highway Administration.
A group of parents with children attending Monroe Christian School spoke at a City Council meeting in early December about speeding traffic on Main Street near their school.
Greg Havener sits on the Monroe Christian School’s board and volunteers for crosswalk duty in the mornings and afternoons. Even though he holds a stop sign and wears a bright vest, “I still have trouble getting the attention of cars coming by,” he said during an early December City Council meeting.
In response to parents’ concerns, Monroe police officers focused traffic enforcement for three days following the December meeting, said Monroe Police Cmdr. Paul Ryan.
Officers made 25 traffic stops and wrote a few infractions, Ryan said.
In 2023, officers issued 152 traffic infractions on Main Street, which accounts for 18 percent of the tickets issued during the year, Ryan said.
“Like any roadway in our community, there’s going to be people going over the speed limit,” Ryan said.
In addition to Monroe Christian School, Park Place Middle School, Frank Wagner Elementary School, and several preschools are located on Main Street.
During the school year, there is a 20-mile-per-hour speed limit on Main Street going from 177th Avenue to Kelsey Avenue.
The grant funding for the flashing beacons comes from the Transportation Improvement Board. The city will chip in a 25-percent match of $40,600, bringing the cost to $203,000.



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