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Pedestrians concerned about Papillion crosswalk

Posted at 5:25 PM, Sep 17, 2018
and last updated 2018-09-18 06:57:47-04

For about a year a crosswalk in Downtown Papillion has helped people get across North Washington Street.

It has flashing lights on the signs and lining the actual crosswalk on the road, but there is no traffic light.  Drivers are expected to yield the right of way to pedestrians when they're in the street, but some say they've seen people and children struggle to make it across especially at busy times of the day.

Terry Vargas lives about a mile away and uses it often.  He'd like to see red lights used to get people to stop and says drivers seem to be confused.

"Unfortunately people don't know what's going on with it.  They just blow right through the yellow lights and people are just standing here for traffic to clear before they can go," Vargas explained.

The Papillion Police Department says pedestrians have the right of way if they're in the crosswalk before traffic arrives, but they can't just step off the curb and expect traffic to stop.

"It's new to Nebraska kind of like the flashing yellow turn signal lights. it's just another feature that was brought to Nebraska and state statute just hasn't caught up to it, how you're supposed to enforce and deal with that," said Lt. Steven Young with the Papillion PD.

Police say drivers can be ticketed if someone is in the crosswalk and they go through it...but can't be cited if the lights are flashing and no one's in the crosswalk.

The Papillion Police Department says that if any changes were deemed necessary they would have to come from the state because Washington St. in Papillion is HWY 85 and is maintained by the state.