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City of Augusta tests crosswalk safety system

Published: Jun. 25, 2021 at 5:05 PM EDT
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AUGUSTA, Maine (WABI) -The City of Augusta is working on several strategies to improve pedestrian safety.

Last week, they installed a simple flag system at a crosswalk on the corner of State and Bond Streets.

The crosswalk was selected as an area of higher risk.

To cross the street, pedestrians are encouraged to pick up a flag and wave it, drawing attention to them. This is one way of signaling their intent to cross, which legally pedestrians must do for cars to stop.

Motorists must also play a role in safety by staying alert and focused, looking for pedestrians.

”We’re just trying it in certain locations, and it’s fairly inexpensive, so it’s an easy thing to roll out.” says Augusta Public Works Director, Lesley Jones. “There’s a lot of education involved in it.”

“If you’re waving a flag and a police officer sees that, there’s no question that that person wants to cross the street.” says Jared Mills, Augusta Chief of Police. “So for us, from an enforcement aspect, it takes the guesswork out of it.”

The city has installed flashing lights at some other crosswalks but say those are too expensive to install everywhere.

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