students--and pedestrians of all stripes--trying to cross West Porter Ave.
and South 11th Street will no longer have to cool their heels futilely while
motorists ignore the crosswalk at the three-way intersection, especially
during the morning and afternoon rush hours.
Now all the kids
need do is press the button activating newly installed LED flashers on both
sides of the street.
The flashers are a
joint project of the Chesterton Street Department and the Duneland School
Corporation, originally broached several months ago by Duneland Schools
Director of Support Services Greg Lindy, who alerted Street Commissioner
John Schnadenberg to a concern shared by a number of school bus drivers.
“When kids were at the crosswalk at 11th Street and West Porter Ave., at
times they were having difficulty crossing Porter Ave. because of the
three-way intersection and Porter Ave. not having a stop sign,” Schnadenberg
suggested by the Street Department: a solar powered crosswalk warning system
with a push-button trigger. Hit the button and the LED lights are activated
for approximately 30 seconds, long enough to cross West Porter Ave.
The cost of the
project--around $5,600--was split down the middle by the Town of Chesterton
and the Duneland Schools, and by installing the system in-house the Street
Department saved some $3,500 on the total cost.
enthused about the project for two reasons, beside the primary one of making
kids’ walk to school safer: first, it’s a great example, he said, of two
public entities working together to solve a problem; second, the
solar-powered lights mean that the town won’t be on the hook for electric.
want to remind folks of the state law on crosswalks: when a child or any
other pedestrian is in a crosswalk, motorists are obligated to stop.