Dundee neighborhood protests crosswalk signal removal

Posted at 11:11 PM, Jul 26, 2017
and last updated 2017-07-27 00:25:13-04

Those living near Dundee Elementary remain outraged by city-posted notices stating the crosswalks and traffic signals at 51st and Farnam streets, and 52nd and Chicago streets may be removed.

Now they are demanding answers.

Many of the parents we spoke to today say they use the traffic signal at 51st and Farnam on a daily basis, when walking their children to school.

They say it took a Facebook post on a Dundee Neighborhood Association page, to find out about the city's plans for removal.

“We walk everywhere, and that's why we moved into Dundee,” parent Erika Hanna said. “We were really shocked to hear it because we see it being used every time.”

Neighbors say these crosswalks and traffic signals are crucial to safety, saying traffic here is busy.

Now the city is looking into removing the signals, and reaction has been swift.

Councilman Chris Jerram said he's opposed to their removal and that many neighbors feel the same.

"I've probably had no less than 50 messages, probably 30 emails in less than 24 hours from people in the neighborhood concerned about what they think is a very important safety feature for the children," he said.

The city cites a study that shows the traffic signals were unwarranted. Data collected from April 16 to May 2, 2016, found an average of 17 people use the crossing a day, but the city says it's not enough.

They say there needs to be at least 20 people crossing during what they call "peak hours." Traffic counts and gap in traffic was also considered.

But the matter isn't a done deal. There will be 90-day period of public comment, where the crosswalk light will flash yellow, then the lights will be bagged for 45 days. If the city decides to keep the signals, it will cost them roughly $100,000 each to upgrade them.

The city is considering removing four other traffic signals: those at 120th and Arbor, 108th and Oak, 73rd and Mercy, and 84th and Spring. Signs will be installed this week to notify drivers and neighbors.